OCT 25, 2018 7:30 AM PDT

Analytical Approaches to Advance Alzheimer's Disease Research

Speaker
  • Associate Professor of Chemistry, Vanderbilt University
    Biography
      Dr. Renã Robinson received her B.S. in Chemistry with a concentration in Business from the University of Louisville in 2000 and her Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Indiana University in 2007 under the mentorship of Professor David Clemmer. During her graduate studies she developed proteomics methods to study aging in Drosophila (fruit flies) and continued her work in aging a Lyman T. Johnson Postdoctoral Fellow with Professor D. Allan Butterfield in the department of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky. During this fellowship she began to focus on neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and received a UNCF/Merck Postdoctoral Fellowship. Dr. Robinson joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh as an Assistant Professor in 2009 until her recent move to Vanderbilt in the summer of 2017 where she serves as an Associate Professor of Chemistry and the Dorothy J. Wingfield Phillips Chancellor's Faculty Fellow.
      Dr. Robinson has a nationally and internationally recognized research program and she is as an emerging leader in the field of proteomics for her work in aging, Alzheimer's disease and applications relevant to human health and disparities. Chemical and Engineering News awarded her with the 2016 Talented Twelve Award, distinguishing her as one of the world's brightest young minds in the field of chemistry. She is also the recipient of several awards including a Starter Grant Award from the Society for Analytical Chemistry of Pittsburgh, the 2014 Lloyd N. Ferguson Young Scientist Award from NOBCChE (The National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers), and the 2017 Pittsburgh Conference Achievement Award. She currently serves as an Executive Board Member for NOBCChE and is an active member of several societies across the fields of chemistry, mass spectrometry, proteomics, and Alzheimer's disease.

    Abstract

    Alzheimer’s disease is becoming a public health crisis as the anticipated number of sufferers is expected to rise to 15 million in the next 30 years, at least in the US. These numbers are exacerbated when considering global incidences of disease. One strategy to combat this rise is to use ‘omics based approaches to better understand the complexity of the disease and to find biomarkers that can be useful for early disease diagnosis. Ultimately, it is desirable for these ‘omics approaches to lead to therapeutic targets and strategies to slow, prevent, or cure disease.

    The RASR laboratory develops high-throughput proteomics approaches to understand health disparities in Alzheimer’s disease and the role of the periphery. In this presentation, Dr. Robinson will introduce how her laboratory is approaching these problems through the development of enhanced sample multiplexing techniques. Specifically, an approach developed in her laboratory, combined precursor isotopic labeling and isobaric tagging (cPILOT), has been demonstrated on up to 24 samples that can be analyzed in a single experiment. This capability has allowed studies that evaluate proteomic changes across multiple tissue types, genotypes, and ethnic populations. While there are inherent tradeoffs with a dual labeling approach the benefits gained in cost and time savings and comprehensive quantitative information are extremely valuable for this platform. These tradeoffs will be highlighted as well as considerations for the utility of enhanced multiplexing in enabling studies of Alzheimer’s disease.

    Learning Objectives: 

    1. Participants will learn two approaches for chemically labeling peptides in complex mixtures that can ultimately be combined into a single enhanced multiplexing approach.
    2. Participants will become familiar with the benefits and challenges of multiplexed proteomics analyses.
    3. Participants will understand how Alzheimer’s disease research can be advanced using multiplexing strategies. 


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