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In the last ten years several robust technologies have been developed for proteomics-based biomarker discovery. However, a
difficult problem in biomarker research and the elucidation of robust markers is the limited availability of carefully collected
and controlled, high-quality human biospecimens. For example, sample collection, processing, handling and storage protocols for
the most common specimens for biomarker discovery, i.e. blood and cerebral spinal fluid (CSF), are based on accepted practices
rather than careful testing. We examined variables intrinsic to each step in the process of obtaining and storing clinical samples,
beginning with electronically monitored collection of samples in controlled studies. Various blood collection tubes, times left
on the bench, incubation temperatures, freeze-thaw cycle and freezer storage effects were compared. Seated or recumbent CSF
collection and fasted or fed conditions were compared. Sample analysis was performed by high resolution mass spectrometry,
leading to the identification of specific proteins that are affected by the various parameters tested. A multiplexed multiple-
reaction monitoring (MRM) assay has now been assembled in order to determine sample integrity and utility for use of stored
samples in clinical research.
Roy leads Caprion?s US operations in California. A protein chemist by training, she has worked extensively in biomarker discovery, proteomics and protein
characterization. Her work on finding brain lymphoma markers, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, demonstrated verification of proteomics
results by non-mass spectrometric methods, reestablishing confidence in mass spectrometry-based technologies for finding biomarkers. She holds over 30
publications and patents in the area. Recently Dr. Roy has rebuilt Caprion?s US operations and enabled technologies that can measure hundreds of plasma
proteins in 1 microliter of plasma. She continues to work in bi
omarker discovery, particularly in neurological diseases.
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