Charles Chiu, MD, PhD
Professor, Laboratory Medicine and Medicine
Division of Infectious Diseases
University of California,
San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine,
San Francisco, CA
Multi-Omics approaches to diagnosis of Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections
Charles Chiu, M.D./Ph.D. is Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases at University of California, San Francisco, Director of the UCSF-Abbott Viral Diagnostics and Discovery Center (VDDC), and Associate Director of the UCSF Clinical Microbiology Laboratory. Chiu currently heads a translational research laboratory focused on next generation sequencing assay development for infectious disease diagnostics, discovery andinvestigation of emerging pathogens, including Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease), Ebola virus, enterovirus D68, and Zika virus, and clinical / public health applications of new diagnostic technologies such as nanopore sequencing. He is also actively developing RNA sequencing approaches to detect and identify diagnostic profiles of the body’s response to infection. His work is supported byfunding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Abbott Laboratories, Department of Defense, NASA/Translational Research Institute, philanthropic grants (Charles and Helen Schwab and Steven and Alexandra CohenFoundations), and the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine. Dr. Chiu has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed publications, holds over 15 patents and patent applications, and serves on the scientific advisory boards for Therabio, Inc., and Mammoth Biosciences, Inc.
Conference Lecture Summary
There are approximately 300,000 cases of Lyme disease annually in the U.S., yet accurate and sensitive diagnostic tests for acute infection do not exist. Timely diagnosis is needed to prevent downstream complications of Lyme disease and other undiagnosed tickborne infections. Here I will describe efforts to develop metagenomics and transcriptomic approaches for diagnosis of early Lyme disease. These include development of the TickChip, a sequencing-based platform leveraging a CRISPR-Cas12a technique for comprehensive and multiplexed detection of tickborne pathogens, and the use of globalRNA-Seq transcriptome profiling to characterize host biomarkers for Lyme disease with accuracy exceeding 80%. I will also describe efforts to leverage this research into the validation of implementation of clinical assays in a CLIA (Clinical Laboraotry Improvement Amendments)-certified laboratory for diagnosing early Lyme disease and other acute tickborne infections and for monitoring patients with chronic complications of Lyme disease. Our goal is to validate these assays on a nanopore sequencing platform for real-time analysis and visualization from whole blood and other clinical samples from affected patients. Finally, I will discuss development of a novel platform for comprehensive,genome-wide serological profiling using a phage display approach that can be used to characterize recent and past tickborne infections.