Translational Biomarker Discovery Core

Mission Statement:
The Translational Biomarker Discovery Core’s Function is to provide Biomarker discovery services to basic scientists and clinicians doing research being applied to improving clinical outcomes for patients.
The Concept Underlying the Translational Biomarker Discovery Core Facility:
The concept of the TBDC core was developed in response to a study section critique following a previous Cancer Center Support Grant review by the National Cancer Institute of the National Health Institute. The review committee noted that the development of biological and small molecule therapeutic agents at the City of Hope National Comprehensive Cancer Center needed to be accompanied by the identification and development of companion biomarkers that are capable of accurately defining the therapeutic efficacy of these investigational agents, stratifying patients according to responsiveness to therapeutic approach, and monitoring disease or remission status.
Our goals of the Translational Biomarker Discovery Core include identifying, validating and developing pre-clinical biomarkers for establishing the presence of disease, monitoring remission status, determining the efficacy of specific therapeutic protocols, and guiding the selection of specific therapeutic interventions. We accomplish this by providing a variety of services which include the mass profiling of complex biological fluids and cell/tissue extracts, mass profile directed imaging of fresh frozen or formalin fixed/paraffin embedded tissue sections, and pattern recognition analyses of complex biological fluids resolved by electrophoretic techniques (e.g., DIGE, 2D-PAGE, and Free-flow electrophoresis).
We are specifically able to:
  • Determine the mass profile of complex biological/clinical fluids to identify potential candidate biomarkers that may be derived from proteins/peptides, nucleic acids, lipids, glycomic residues, and drug/drug metabolites.
  • Determine the identity of specific components (biomarkers) from within a mass signature.
  • Perform mass profiling analyses of the glycomic components of complex biological fluids and tissue extracts.
  • Perform mass spectrometry based tissue imaging to localize drug or drug metabolites to specific structures within an organ or tissue sample, identify the presence of a biomarker of disease or a marker of therapeutic efficacy in a target tissue, follow the development process during organogenesis or the degeneration process of tissue in response to a disease process or exposure to a toxicant.
  • Identify the presence of differentially expressed proteins during comparative analyses of: 1) diseased vs. healthy tissue; 2) complex biological fluids from healthy individuals vs. individuals with a disease; 3) patients prior to any treatment intervention vs. following intervention; etc. using traditional 2-Dimensional Gel Electrophoresis or DIGE methodologies.
  • Validate a suspected biomarker that is thought to be useful for identifying or monitoring; 1) the presence of disease; 2) the efficacy of a therapeutic intervention; or 3) the remission status of a patient.
  • Purify small to large batches of proteins using nano-flow UPLC – traditional chromatographic FPLC and gravity fed techniques; including, (but not limited to): ion exchange, hydrophobic, metal ion affinity and classic affinity chromatography techniques.
  • Rapidly enrich/isolate virtually unlimited quantities of labile proteins from complex mixtures using Free Flow Electrophoresis. FFE can isolate individual proteins, active protein complexes and even organelles under isoelectric focusing (IEF), denaturing or non-denaturing zonal or interval zonal electrophoresis conditions.
  • Assist you in the development of polyclonal/monoclonal antibody development that is selective for your biomarker of interest.
  • Develop pre-clinical IHC/ELISA/ISH assays for your biomarker, and perform validation assays to help move your assay into the clinical validation setting.
To set up an appointment to discuss your project, please contact Drs. Gerald Wuenschell or Robert Hickey.
Please include include acknowledgement in any publication the core contributed to:
Research reported in this publication included work performed in the Translational Biomarker Discovery Core supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under award number P30CA33572. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.