Novus Customer Focus - The Nelson Lab of ASU's Biodesign Institute

Tue, 06/01/2010 - 14:10

Dr. Randall Nelson and his Molecular Biomarkers Lab Team are the topic of this week's Novus Customer Focus. At Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute, Dr. Nelson and his lab conduct biomarker research to investigate and understand how biomarkers function and how they can be used in medical applications.

The Nelson Lab studies biomarkers using a unique methodology called mass spectrometry immunoassay (MSIA). MSIA uses both Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) and Electrospray Ionization (ESI). This multiplex approach allows for the fast and accurate analysis of several specific proteins and their variants at the same time. MSIA allows Dr. Randall and his team to accurately identify amino acid sequences of small and large proteins, as well as these proteins' post-translational modifications and changes in concentrations, collectively termed ' microheterogeneity'. The capability of MSIA to recognize and investigate such microheterogeneity is not available using other platforms.

MSIA uses biomarker-specific antibodies that are covalently bonded to a porous solid support attached to the end of a pipette tip. After passing through a biological fluid, the full-length peptide and any variants, including point mutations, PTMs, and truncations are analyzed using mass spec (MS). These protein modifications are then validated and analyzed using a variety of protein databases and methods. This technique developed by Dr. Nelson ultimately provides quantitative and qualitative information about a protein to produce personalized diagnoses and treatment effectiveness for patients.

Want to learn more? Check out The Nelson Lab's website:

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