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Thermo Fisher Scientific Expands Biomarker Research Initiatives

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Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. has announced that its Biomarker Research Initiative in Mass Spectrometry (BRIMS) center has expanded its capabilities to involve clinical validation and clinical application assays.

The center was initially established to focus on protein biomarker discovery, and subsequently developed an end-to-end mass spectrometry workflow including a complete sample preparation protocol as well as SIEVE, a new software tool which automates label-free, semi-quantitative differential expression of proteins and peptides by comparing LC/MS analyses from large datasets.

Information about the new initiatives of the BRIMS center will be presented at the downtown Marriott Ballroom 5, daily from 7:00 - 10:00 PM during the 55th Annual ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry.

Thermo Fisher Scientific originally partnered with Massachusetts General Hospital on BRIMS to focus on protein biomarker discovery. The large quantity of plasma samples that were available at the hospital were ideally suited for research in biomarker discovery using the Thermo Scientific LTQ FT and LTQ Orbitrap.

Moving into the next stage of biomarker verification, the center now uses the Thermo Scientific TSQ Quantum triple-quadrupole platform to develop targeted highly selective reaction monitoring (H-SRM) and multiple reaction monitoring assays for peptides and protein biomarker quantitation.

Mary Lopez, director of the BRIMS center comments, “The center’s focus is shifting. Proteomics is evolving and as proteomics has gone from a science that was really more discovery based into a science that is becoming now more quantitative and has applications in the clinical world, we have also moved forward. The BRIMS center will continue to expand and establish collaborations with the leading scientists in biomarker research in cancer and cardiovascular disease, with the aim of developing clinical workflows and platforms”.

Following the Thermo Fisher acquisition of Cohesive Technologies, BRIMS incorporates the Thermo Scientific TurboFlow technology system’s approach to sample preparation and separation for MS.

The TurboFlow technology minimizes sample preparation, especially for drug discovery, drug development and clinical research applications resulting in a LC-MS/MS solution when coupled with the TSQ Quantum triple quadrupole mass spectrometer and FAIMS (High-Field Asymmetric Ion Mobility Mass Spectrometry) technology.

The BRIMS center also utilizes Thermo Fisher protein/peptide sample enrichment products, as well as the SILAC Protein Quantitation Kits which, when used in conjunction with Thermo Scientific high resolution mass spectrometers, help facilitate MS analysis of low-abundance proteins.