Single Molecule DNA and RNA Sequencing to Detect Residual Cancer and Clonal Hematopoiesis

Dr. Druley will discuss novel strategies for single molecule DNA and RNA sequencing as a modality for characterization of clonal hematopoiesis and minimal residual disease (MRD) detection in cancer. Despite “deep sequencing,” next-generation platforms have an error rate of 0.5-1.0%, precluding straightforward sequencing for MRD, which requires sensitivity of less than 1:1,000. However, using a single molecule labeling strategy to correct sequencing errors, the Druley lab has published multiple studies identifying rare clonal mutations at levels as low as 1:10,000 from heterogenous DNA samples. His group is now moving this strategy into RNA sequencing to identify aberrant slice isoforms, allele-specific expression and cryptic fusions in addition to point mutations. The ultimate goal is to combine a toolbox of technologies for precise genomic characterization of individual cancers with machine learning to improve molecular diagnostics, risk stratification, therapeutic selection and outcomes for children with cancer.

Dr. Druley is a board-certified pediatric hematologist/oncologist and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Developmental Biology and Genetics at Washington University School of Medicine. Research in the Druley Lab is based on characterizing the link between abnormal human development and early childhood cancer, particularly infant leukemia. The lab has a track record for genomic methodology development and is currently applying that technology to improve molecular diagnostics in pediatric AML. Clinically, Dr. Druley is focused on pediatric cancer predisposition and serves as the co-director of the Pediatric Cancer Predisposition Program at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

The Innovative Discoveries Series, sponsored by the Delaware Clinical & Translational Science ACCEL program and the Christiana Care Value Institute, features informal presentations on topics relevant to current research and healthcare practice, led by knowledgeable and experienced presenters. There are offerings for researchers, healthcare providers, and community members of varying levels of experience.

These free talks are held Fridays at noon at Christiana Hospital but can be viewed from your home or office computer. Earn CMEs by participating in-person or online. Lunch is served and all are welcome to attend.

To see the full calendar of events, visit the Value Institute Events page or the ACCEL website, or subscribe to the ID Series mailing list.

Contact Sarahfaye Dolman at with any questions.


  • Todd Druley, MD, PhD