April 2011

Center for Translational Research Establishes Partnerships

The Center for Translational Research (CTR), Towson, MD, is making progress towards its goal of advancing personalized medicine through linking patient sample biomarker data with clinical outcomes. As part of the CHI Institute for Research and Innovation, the CTR provides partnering opportunities for translational research and personalized medicine.

 "There has been a great response from MBOs throughout CHI to join our Biorepository Network," said Jeffrey Otto, PhD, national director of the CTR. "But we will make our greatest progress when we apply the annotated biorepository to research that drives the development of diagnostics and tailored therapeutics for our patients."

The biorepository is the foundation of the CTR's partnerships with researchers within CHI, government, industry and academia for the development of therapeutics and diagnostics. One such partner is Caliper Life Sciences, a drug development firm. The partnership gives Caliper access to the CRT's consented patient tumor samples for use in biomarker and drug resistance and sensitivity studies.  

"Caliper knows the value of tumor samples collected under controlled conditions that include treatment history and diagnostic data," said Damon Hostin, director of business development for the CTR. "Clinically relevant biomarkers are critical to effective drug development."

The CTR recently presented at the Biospecimen Research Network Symposium on "Advancing Cancer Research Through Biospecimen Science." The team will also present at the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories meeting in May. "These presentations represent a milestone for the CTR, in being acknowledged nationally and internationally as an active contributor to personalized medicine," said Otto. The presentations focus on the effect of tissue specimen collection techniques on biomarker quality, as well as information technology that relates clinical data to biospecimens.

"Linking data to clinical outcomes is the core of progress toward personalized medicine, and we want to ensure that we fully understand variation in analysis outcomes," said Rao Mulpuri, PhD, director of scientific operations for the CTR. "Our research will help ensure that biomarker study conclusions are trustworthy and fit for clinical use."

Additional CTR activities include a certified laboratory that offers molecular diagnostics to guide clinical decisions and a platform to support CHI physician-sponsored research in personalized medicine. To learn more, contact Damon Hostin.