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HUPO Webinar Highlights Remote Microsampling in Proteomics, Precision Medicine

by Neoteryx, on September 9,2020

September 2020 — A pre-conference webinar series is being offered in advance of HUPO Connect 2020, this year's Human Proteome Organization World Congress, which will be held October 19-22. The August 2020 pre-conference webinar, titled "Impact of Proteomics on Precision Medicine," was moderated by Stephen Pennington, and featured Drs. Jennifer Van Eyk and Nathan Price. Dr. Van Eyk spoke on "Proteomic Transformation of Medical Practice," and Dr. Price spoke on "Proteomics in Monitoring Health and Disease Across Time in Thousands of People." A recording of the webinar is currently available on-demand to registered delegates in the HUPO on-demand presentations library.

Dr. Van Eyk's talk would be of interest to other research scientists using mass spectrometry with interest in leveraging remote blood collection and microsampling for proteomic studies. Well-known in the area of clinical proteomics, Dr. Van Eyk is a Professor of Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Director of their Basic Science Research in the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center. She also is Director of the Advanced Clinical Biosystems Research Institute, which is focused on high throughput quantitative proteomics and disease-induced biomarker studies. Her laboratory at Cedars-Sinai focuses on developing technical pipelines for de novo discovery and larger scale quantitative mass spectrometry methods. This includes multiple reaction monitoring (MRM, also known as SRM) and data-independent acquisition.

Dr. Van Eyk recently became co-director of Cedars-Sinai Precision Health, which is focused on in-hospital and population individualization of health care. Dr. Van Eyk's aim is to maximize throughput and reproducibility in order to move targeted and robust discovery methods into large population health assessments and clinical grade assays.

Translating Laboratory Methods to the Medical Arena

Dr. Van Eyk's HUPO presentation was focused on the use of laboratory methods that are translatable to the medical arena, and how to go from one marker to a mechanistic network. She said there is a need to de-convolute multiple networks in order to match the multiple biological processes involved in disease. As an example, she discussed her work at the Center for Undiagnosed Patients (CUP) at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. She applies methods of blood analysis there to help diagnose patients with complicated cases where the diagnosis isn't always clear, making it difficult for the medical team to decide how to move forward. To provide insights in these cases, Dr. Van Eyk said that instead of looking at the dynamic disease network of mechanisms at one time point, it is helpful to monitor each individual over time with remote blood sampling.

"One of the tools we use to do this is the Mitra microsampling device from Neoteryx, which allows us to watch disease development over time," said Dr. Van Eyk. "Mitra samples dry on the device, so they are dried blood samples that can be mailed through the US postal service directly to our precision biomarker lab at Cedars-Sinai, where we use automated processing and are able to quantify proteins and small molecules from those samples."

Can we adopt remote blood sampling for a safer, more efficient way to monitor patients?

Touching on the era of COVID-19 and the need for effective telemedicine tools, Dr. Van Eyk highlighted the value of remote blood collection and microsampling with Mitra® devices from Neoteryx, which are based on volumetric absorptive microsampling, or VAMS®. She said that dried blood is a "very interesting biomatrix" and described the Mitra with VAMS as a "transformative technology" that allows accurate measurement from remote blood samples that are self-collected by patients and study subjects. The value of remote sampling in a pandemic environment or other health crisis is that patients and study participants can collect their blood samples anywhere, saving time and eliminating travel or exposure to contagions. Dr. Van Eyk used a slide to illustrate how time-consuming the traditional health screening and blood testing process was in the past, compared to the more simplified remote blood collection and remote patient monitoring model that is possible today.

As a real life example of remote blood microsampling in action, Dr. Van Eyk mentioned the Cedars-Sinai's Coronavirus Risk Associations and Longitudinal Evaluation Study, or CORALE Study, which she and a colleague launched in March 2020. This study investigates the hypothesis that even COVID-19 positive individuals who were asymptomatic, or those who had moderate clinical presentations and didn't require hospitalization, may develop multi-organ dysfunction or related health problems in future. Other collaborative studies Dr. Van Eyk is working on include a Frontline Nurse Longitudinal Study of 80 nurses who are treating COVID-19 positive patients. The nurses received at-home blood collection kits and are self-collecting blood samples over a 6-week period. Among other studies, Dr. Van Eyk also mentioned the BASE Healthcare Workers Sub-Study that includes antibody testing for a cohort of >6,000 health workers that treat COVID-19 patients at multiple Cedars-Sinai sites.

This content is curated from the HUPO website's on-demand webinar series. For additional details of the presentations, and to hear the Q&A segment, please access the original HUPO webinar recording.

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