Research

Diagnostics are crucial for correct analysis of a given condition and to visualise trends. In an ideal situation diagnostics are pieces of information that have been shown to relate to the subject of interest and have predictive value. They are present in everyday life and they are not only used in medicine to diagnose patients, they are also used to describe the status of the economy or to monitor environmental changes.

It is not always straight-forward to have precise and up-to-date diagnostics due to a lack of knowledge, the absence of usable assays or the inability to analyse the amount of data that usually is created.

 

My research is entirely focused on diagnostics by use of proteins. The information that results from the measurement of proteins is used already continuously in Medicine and Biology, but the main difference is the number of proteins that can be monitored in parallel that leads to a more precise and therefore better judgment.

 

Targeted proteomics using of Mass Spectrometry (MS) works by identifying and quantifying only those subsets of the proteins present that are of interest to researchers, clinicians, environmental biologist and many others. The unique feature of targeted proteomics by MS is that this technology is not antibody dependent, and is therefore very flexible to set-up. It offers a high level of sensitivity, selectivity and accuracy with a reasonable through-put and is relatively cheap once set-up.  

 

Because targeted proteomics monitors a panel of diagnostic proteins in parallel, the results of the assays can be used to stratify treatments. In medicine this means that patients with different test results will have different treatments; patients are grouped together based on their test results.

 

The technology is already here; the greatest challenge that lies ahead is to reliably and reproducibly implement these assays in the decision-making processes.

 

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