Harnessing the Power of Proteomics to Advance Precision Medicine

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What is the mission of Precision Biomarker Laboratories (PBL)?

Jennifer Van Eyk
Jennifer Van Eyk, PhD
Precision Biomarker Labs

Precision Biomarker Laboratories is focused on releasing the power of precise proteomics by utilizing our growing understanding of the proteome to transform how medicine is practiced. Our goal is to reduce the barriers in translating therapies and biomarkers to the clinic for the benefit of precision health. PBL builds on the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center health network patient population to validate assays to meet clinical rigor as laboratory developed tests into our CAP/CLIA lab, and to implement these new protein markers within the context of thousands of individuals in a time- and cost-effective manner.


How can a better understanding of the human proteome aid in advancing precision medicine?

Our proteome, continuously changing from the time we are born until we reach old age, contributes more than genetics to disease risk over a lifetime. It can aid precision medicine since the proteome represents a personalized signature or timestamp for each patient of their current physiological status based on their response to multiple perturbations including stress, environment, smoking, and obesity, among other things.

But the proteome can, and does, change rapidly in response to these perturbations, which makes it an active signature of a person’s current physiological status and provides insights to how you will respond to a specific therapy. Your proteomic timestamp can thus help predict your future health and provide a responsive health readout.


How is PBL well-positioned to deliver on this promise?

For our clients, we can accelerate development, allowing faster go/no-go decisions by providing precise and accurate protein data with full analytical support. We aid our partners to more quickly discover and develop drug targets by ensuring that the drug is targeting the protein or network of choice. We provide rapid, targeted protein panel development, which allows focusing on the key proteins or pathways with maximum biological insight. Finally, our affiliation with Cedars-Sinai provides access to a clinical infrastructure that is vital to establishing the validity of protein biomarkers.


How do you accomplish all of this?

We have three synergistic laboratories. Each works independently, but our clients can use any aspect of each or all of their capabilities.

The proteomics contract research lab leverages our automated sample preparation, mass spectrometry, and integrated bioinformatic pipelines and expertise. It is focused on discovery and early research support to provide discovery services, or clients can use one of their own targeted assays. We have biomarkers of both biological and clinical relevance.

Our commercial development lab provides clients with a bioinformatic and data analysis framework for clinical investigations with advanced analytical methods built to support clinical and commercial deployment. It also provides access to our clinical expertise and clinical cohorts, as needed.

Finally, the clinical specialty lab completes the translation of research to clinical applications, to support a product launch either in the clinic or for clinical trials. It develops assays that define clinical use, supports validated assays from external sources, and supports clinical results interpretation.


PBL uses mass spec for its assays and assay development. In what ways are you leveraging mass spec?

PBL takes emerging and cutting-edge mass spec technologies and develops them into robust quantitative workflows. Using our plasma or dried blood assays (remote sampling) we can do discovery or use one of our in-house multiplexed protein targeted assays. For example, the Health Surveillance protein panel consists of 59 plasma proteins that represent nine pathological signatures such as the heart, kidneys, the lungs, inflammation, and immunity. It can be used for risk stratification in a clinical trial or to measure response to a therapy. We also have disease-specific assays such as our COVID-19 Acute Phase Protein assay. Upstream of our targeted and customizable assays we provide mass spec discovery services using data-independent acquisition workflows. Leveraging mass spec services on discovery and targeted workflows increases the likelihood of clinical translation for precision health applications.


For more information: cedars-sinai.org/pbl

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