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Mass Spectrometry Based Biomarker Discovery
and Support for Clinical Research

Biomarker discovery provides important information in furthering the understanding of disease incidence and
progression of various diseases. Research for new biomarkers that provide additional information regarding disease progression,
classification or subtyping has become an increasingly important area in recent years.
Mass spectrometry plays a critical role in biomarker research, and many of these newly discovered biomarkers have gone on
to become clinical diagnostic assays positively impacting human health.

What are biomarkers?
Biomarkers are biological measurements of disease-related compounds such as metabolites or proteins contained in biospecimens such as urine, blood, and tissues. These markers serve as indicators to quantitatively interrogate and subtype specific medical conditions and biological changes towards improved health.

Strategy for Biomarker Research

  1. (1)Obtain blood samples from diseased and non-diseased subjects

  2. (2)Pretreat samples for mass spectrometry

  3. (3)Identify substances that appear to be upregulated or
    downregulated in specific disease by proteomics or untargeted metabolomics

    (4)Using stable isotope-labeled standards,
    quantify substances that are upregulated or downregulated in specific disease

    • Quantitative mass spectrometers measure components in biospecimens enabling discovery of new biomarkers with a high level of sensitivity and specificity.

    • Improved workflow in combination with fully automated pretreatment equipment to perform multi-sample measurements and validate biomarker performance criteria.

  4. (5)Mass-screening for clinical application

Joint Research Partner

Cleveland Clinic, USA
Stanley Hazen, MD, PhD,

“My research is focused on understanding the mechanisms of heart disease. To do that, we use mass spectrometry as a primary tool to discover the chemical signatures linked to the development of heart disease. Recently, using mass spectrometry and untargeted metabolomics, we discovered the compound called trimethylamine n-oxide (TMAO) is associated with development of heart disease.
Complementary functional studies show TMAO both contributes to cardiovascular disease in animal models, and is a metabolite made by gut microbes in both humans, and animal models.
I firmly believe that in the future these technology developments will play an ever-increasing role in both cardiovascular disease prevention and monitoring of therapeutics.”