Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - PROTBIO (High performance bioseparation methods for proteomics-based biomarker discovery)

Interdisciplinary science and technologies have converged in the last few years to create exciting challenges and opportunities involving novel, integrated separation systems to facilitate comprehensive analysis of complex biological samples. Bioseparation science provides an essential toolset that enables entering from the genomics era to the proteomics field.

The aim of the proposed research and training project was to develop and implement high performance bioanalytical techniques in the field of proteomics-based biomarker discovery, using single-dimensional and multidimensional separation methods. Particular attention was given to the development of novel column technologies to support differential migration processes in micro-channel based bioanalytical systems, such as capillary electrophoresis, capillary electrochromatography and microfabricated separation devices, respectively connected to mass spectrometry. The expertise of the chair holder in chromatography, column engineering, capillary electrophoresis and microfabricated device technologies was extensively utilised in embarking on recent bioanalytical challenges.

With the support of this Marie Curie chair award, the Horvath Laboratory of Bioseparation Sciences (HLBS) was established to serve as a research and training centre in the central European region and train outstanding young researchers from the European Community, including the newly joined European Union countries. The team of Prof. Guttman provided multidisciplinary research training opportunities for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and visiting scientists in advanced bioseparation sciences. The quality of the produced science was evidenced by the scientific level of the journals in which the results were published, in 41 papers, as well as by the international recognition of the importance of the results via their selection for invited oral presentations at international scientific meetings, 27 in total. The interdisciplinarity of the projects was indicated by the number of academic and industrial groups collaborating with HLBS in bioseparation science.

A translational component was manifested by founding a spin-off company, namely BioSystems International (BSI) SAS, in Evry, France, with a subsidiary in Debrecen, Hungary, providing workplace for 20 Full-time equivalents (FTEs). BSI biomarker discovery technology combined high throughput monoclonal antibody technology with multidimensional separations and mass spectrometry. The primary business model of the start-up company was to industrialise novel proprietary technologies for biomarker discovery and validation and to commercialise discovery and validation services as well as the resulting clinical diagnostic assays for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. The contribution of HLBS was to provide high performance bioseparation methods that could be readily applied in industrial scale qualitative and quantitative protein identification to reveal global changes in gene expression at the proteome level. Analysis throughput was increased by multiplexing, system integration and miniaturisation.

The public understanding of science was achieved through a proactive dissemination strategy using the HLBS web site, press releases, brochures of specific events and interviews in local newspapers and other media sources. The success of the training methods was demonstrated by the 481 participants in basic training, 178 summer schools, 216 workshops, 247 short courses, 161 open seminars and more than 18 000 web page visits. The 12 visiting scholars with PhD degrees were also a good indicator of the success. The innovative aspects of the project were shown by the six invention disclosures and patent applications that the HLBS team filed during this three year project. In summary, with the support of the European Union grant, three PhD students, three MSc students and nine visiting scholars spent a total of 112 FTE months at HLBS during this three year project.

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