Developing Proteomics Technology to Detect Disease Biomarkers
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Oct. 12, 2011 – Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) and the Agilent Technologies Foundation today announced that Steven Carr, Ph.D, who directs the Proteomics Platform at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, has been selected for an Agilent Thought Leader Award supporting his work developing new technology for analyzing proteins and peptides. Carr’s goal is to produce better techniques for diagnosing illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
The award, valued at $1.2 million, includes Agilent Technologies Foundation funding and donation by the company of an automated liquid handling system, a chip-based nano-HPLC system and a triple quadrupole liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry system.
“The ability to investigate disease mechanisms has been greatly enhanced by new developments in mass spectrometry, especially targeted MS-based technologies, and related proteomic technologies,” Carr said. “This award will allow us to explore new automation methods for liquid handling and sample preparation together with high-sensitivity targeted, quantitative mass spectrometry. The goal is a deeper understanding of the root causes of disease, and to identify biomarkers for their detection and prognosis.”
“There is a great need for better tools to measure proteins with greater selectivity and sensitivity for improved quantitative accuracy,” said John Fjeldsted, Ph.D, vice president and general manager of Agilent’s LC/MS business. “This is why we’re pleased to support Steve Carr’s promising work.”
Carr’s group is applying multiple reaction monitoring (MRM, also known as SRM) and stable isotope standards and capture by anti-peptide antibodies (SISCAPA-MRM) for precisely measuring proteins in complex biological materials such as cells, tissue and plasma. The goal is to replace expensive, labor-intensive methods involving scarce immunoassay-grade antibody reagents with more efficient, cost-effective techniques that can be highly multiplexed and that require very small quantities of precious samples. One of the keys to this is the use of automated robotics for sample preparation via liquid handling.
The Agilent Thought Leader Program promotes fundamental advances in the life sciences by contributing financial support, products and expertise to the research of thought leaders.