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In Review: Petricoin & Liotta, Core Lab Directors, PGx, and PerkinElmer

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Five years ago, Genome Technology ran a story that told the first half of the saga behind Emanuel Petricoin and Lance Liotta’s foray into generating a biomarker consisting of many proteins, called a proteomic fingerprint. Teaming with bioinformatics company Correlogic Systems to push their idea forward, the two were later accused of improper conduct for their simultaneous consulting work for a Correlogic competitor. The two continue their work in protein biomarkers as co-directors of the center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine at George Mason University and co-founders of Theranostics Health, which uses reverse phase protein microarrays for biomarker discovery.

In that same issue, a survey of core lab directors looked at hurdles involved in running a successful facility. Directors offered advice to their peers, including: widen the user base, get creative when it comes to funding new equipment, and learn how to talk to pushy clients. This month, GT features a survey that aims to find the best — and worst — of the core labs out there. We surveyed readers in academia, pharma, and biotech to find out how satisfied they are with their results and how accessible the latest technology is.

The February 2003 cover story featured Peter Coggins, who had recently been named president of PerkinElmer’s Life and Analytical Sciences business. At the time, his mission was to improve PE’s customer focus and diversify its product line to include more functional biology tools. A year later, Coggins was appointed to the US Department of Health & Human Services Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders and Genetic Diseases in Newborns and Children. Over the past several years, PE has made headway in its biomarker discovery and high-throughput screening products.

A year ago, our cover story delved into translational medicine — what it is and why it’s here to stay. “The push to drag research from basic labs to the clinic has never been bigger,” the article said, and researchers continue to make inroads. GT interviewed Michael Phillips, director of pharmacogenomics at Genome Quebec and the Montreal Heart Institute, who, along with his colleague Jean-Claude Tardif, recently received a grant of $5 million to develop the infrastructure to conduct pharmacogenomic clinical trials both in Quebec and abroad.

The Scan

Team Tracks Down Potential Blood Plasma Markers Linked to Heart Failure in Atrial Fibrillation Patients

Researchers in BMC Genomics found 10 differentially expressed proteins or metabolites that marked atrial fibrillation with heart failure cases.

Study Points to Synonymous Mutation Effects on E. Coli Enzyme Activity

Researchers in Nature Chemistry saw signs of enzyme activity shifts in the presence of synonymous mutations in a multiscale modeling analysis of three Escherichia coli genes.

Team Outlines Paternal Sample-Free Single-Gene Approach for Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening

With data for nearly 9,200 pregnant individuals, researchers in Genetics in Medicine demonstrate the feasibility of their carrier screening and reflex single-gene non-invasive prenatal screening approach.

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.