Biomarker research encompasses a large part of molecular pathology, from cancer to bacterial infection. We have an ever-expanding team of experts leading research in this field. Our initial analytical group of four investigating protein biomarker applications - Professors Iles and Roitt, and Drs Ghali and Butler - included the application of proteomics and mass spectrometry to biomarker analysis and discovery. To enhance this group four new appointments have been made since 2008: Dr Ajit Shah as a reader; Dr Rosemary Clyne at senior lecturer level; and Dr Song Wen and Dr Beata Burczynska at lecturer level).
Dr Ajit Shah has joined the centre from GlaxoSmithKline research and has helped develop metabolomic analysis utilising the LCMS instrumentation at the University. Dr Burczynska has rejoined the team having previously been a postdoctoral researcher at Middlesex University, and is a biomarker biotechnologist with specialist expertise gene expression pattern of CGB genes coding hCG beta by non-trophoblastic cancer and silencing of its expression via U1snRNA and lentiviral transduction. Dr Wen has also moved from a Research Fellow position to a lecturing post and continues to add expertise in investigating the structural and functional difference of human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (hCG) beta between secreted by normal trophoblast cells and tumor cells, and how this relates to tumour progression and invasion.
The group's biomarker research encompasses diagnostics in reproductive, haematological, cancer, and immune disorders. Our work in the biology and genetics of hCG in reproduction and cancer remains world leading and has led to the development of a new anti-hCG beta cancer vaccine by the USA biotechnology company Celldex, a successful international conference, the editorship of a special issue of the Journal Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology (Prof Iles and Dr Butler) and continued close collaboration with the hCG reference service in the United States. Indeed, Dr Butler has now published the definitive book/monograph on the Biomarker hCG with Professor Larry Cole of the US hCG reference service. A related finding by Drs. Wen and Ghali has revealed, quite unexpectedly, that hCG can bring about the 'cancer-like' transformation of epithelial to mesenchymal cells.