The Biomarkers Facility based at the Campus for Ageing and Vitality is regularly involved in clinical and academic research. It offers a wide variety of advice, technical support and biomarker assessment that can expand your research and enhance your project. The capability is beyond that generally offered by hospital, clinical or biochemistry laboratories. Services are tailored to each individual project, please contact the facility to discuss the specifics of your project and how we can work with you.
Biomarkers are used to indicate or quantify a normal or pathogenic biological process. The laboratory was established to translate biologically relevant markers in the field of Ageing and Age-related disease research. Its expertise has now grown and can be applied to a wide range of clinical research areas and academic areas including non-human samples.
The facility is capable of processing large numbers of samples on a regular basis for instance to fit the needs of clinical research projects with constant recruitment of participants and samples. Its research portfolio includes MRC and BBSRC funded projects such as the Newcastle 85+ study, Newcastle Thousand Families and HALCyon. The facility has collaborated with other national and international Universities (Boston, USA; Leiden, Netherlands; Keio University, Tokyo, Japan; InChianti Study, Parma University, Italy) and with industrial partners (Unilever, Procter and Gamble).
The facility is able to undertake all stages of the process such as:
- Costings and grant applications
- Sample handling, collection, labelling and tracking
- Development and validation of novel assays or enhancement of existing assays
- Processing a variety of biological material both human and other species
- Translation of markers between research areas and species
- Coordination with clinical teams or other study teams
- Preparing manuscripts for publication.
The following examples illustrate the abilities and breath of our work. Due to the uniqueness of each project we advise you to contact us directly to discuss how we can support your research.
To discuss your project please contact: Dr Carmen Martin-Ruiz, Biomarkers Lab Manager.
Tel: +44 (0) 191 208 1107
Click on the case studies below to see some of the studies we have worked on. If you would like an in depth description of our available services see our blog.
Case Study 1: The StemBANCC ProjectCase Study 1: The StemBANCC Project
This European funded project involved human blood sampling at multiple geographical locations that were processed locally before transfer to a central bio-bank for long tern storage. Sampling processes had to be rigorously standardised between the study sites for comparability.
- Worked with the clinical team to ensure implementation of the multi-centre protocol.
- Coordinated with the project’s central bio-bank on exact details of sampling: blood tubes required, standardized reagents and cell isolation protocol.
- Coordinated with the clinical team to minimise ion with nurses in CARU regarding timing of the sampling to ensure immediate processing, labelling of blood tubes and tracking documentation.
- Ensured cryopreservation, storage and final shipping to the central bio-bank.
Case Study 2: Translation of biomarkers from humans to birdsCase Study 2: Translation of biomarkers from humans to birds
The biomarker lab was approached for its expertise on whether avian samples could be processed for telomere length, inflammatory markers and genotypic determination of sex.
- Established the type and amount of sample required and developed an efficient and reliable method to isolate DNA from avian blood.
- Isolated DNA and assessed telomere length at a large scale (N~600 samples)
- Developed and validated the measurement of IL-6 and TNF-alpha from bird plasma.
- Develops and validates the measurement of TNF-alpha on the same plasma sample (N>120 samples).
- Evaluated different methods of genomic sexing in birds from existing literature.
- Adapted and validated previous methods.
- Determined sex on set of birds DNA samples (N~400).
- Contributed to final publication: authoring methods and dealing with reviewers comments.
Case Study 3: Translation of biomarkers from ageing to other clinical research areasCase Study 3: Translation of biomarkers from ageing to other clinical research areas
The biomarker lab was approached for its expertise on measuring human inflammatory markers for application in pre-eclampsia research and development of additional markers (Myeloperoxidase).
- Assessed IL-6 and TNA-alpha in plasma samples (N=190).
- Tested three possible tissue sources for the measurement of Myeloperoxidase.
- Developed and validated a Myeloperoxidase assay to enable detection in younger individuals.
- Up-scaled and increased sensitivity of the method: higher throughput and reproducibility, minimise plate-to-plate variation.