OCT 04, 2016 08:00 AM PDT

Overcoming the Clinical Sample Bottleneck for Expression Studies

SPONSORED BY: Affymetrix, Affymetrix
  • Helene Roberson Professor of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine
      Dr. Mark Manary is an American pediatrician who has worked in sub-Saharan Africa most of his professional life. He was educated at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He first worked in Africa in 1985 with his wife Mardi in Shirati, Tanzania. Dr. Manary runs a basic science lab in St. Louis and maintains 3 active field research teams in Africa: Sierra Leone, Malawi and Ghana. He is the Helene Roberson Professor of Pediatrics at Washington University and has published over 175 peer reviewed articles.

      Dr. Manary's professional goal is to ‘fix malnutrition for kids in Africa'. To this end, he has developed ready-to-use therapeutic food and used the food in home-based therapy. Ready-to-use therapeutic food is a novel lipid-based food which has been accepted as the standard of care for uncomplicated severe acute malnutrition by the UN agencies. He did the first clinical trial with this food in 2001, and continues to improve it today. He also recognizes the importance of work to prevent childhood malnutrition. Protein quality is one key element to a healthy diet that Dr. Manary has investigated. He believes the ultimate solution for malnutrition will incorporate improved agriculture. He continues to explore the basic pathophysiology and metabolism of malnutrition, and is currently looking at the gut microbiota and metabolome in kwashiorkor and marasmus, and well as zinc homeostasis.

      Improved gut health has been a primary focus for Dr.Manary in the last 5 years. Gut health for children in sub-Saharan Africa means reduction in environmental enteric dysfunction or EED, an asymptomatic condition of the upper small bowel which includes chronic inflammation and increased paracellular permeability. Diagnosis using standard methods, such as endoscopy, is impractical in Africa. Dr. Manary has developed a new diagnostic method to measure host transcript in feces utilizing sensitive microarray and PCR methodologies.
    • Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine-Infectious Disease; Associate Director, Vaccine Testing Center, University of Vermont College of Medicine
        Dr. Sean Diehl is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine-Infectious Diseases and Associate Director for Research for the Vaccine Testing Center at the University of Vermont. He received his B.S. in Biology from the State University of New York at Geneseo and his Ph.D in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Vermont, studying the signaling networks controlling the differentiation of CD4 T cells into effectors. His postdoctoral work at the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands centered around the molecular pathways involved in the survival and differentiation of human B cells into plasma cells and memory B cells. At the University of Vermont Vaccine Testing Center, the research goal is to develop novel indicators of how vaccination triggers the immune response to promote durable immunity and protection from disease in order to develop novel correlates of protection. The majority of the work in Dr. Diehl's lab is focused on infections of global importance such as dengue and Zika viruses, rotavirus, and other pathogens as well as how conditions such as malnutrition impact the immune system.

      DATE:  October 4, 2016
      TIME:  8:00am PT, 11:00am ET

      Extracting robust expression data from clinical samples represents a unique opportunity to find actionable biomarkers. But it does not come without challenges. Clinical samples such as whole blood and feces are technically challenging to work with, often of poor quality, and provide limited amounts of high-quality RNA making it difficult to generate reproducible and informative expression data.
      Feces, in particular, are increasingly identified as useful non-invasive samples for molecular diagnosis of infectious disease, but their composition consists of a complex microbial community making the identification of human RNA signatures problematic. Whole blood is also a desirable sample type as it is widely available and collection is relatively non-invasive and inexpensive. Yet 70% of mRNA in whole blood is globin mRNA released from red blood cells, introducing noise and decreasing the sensitivity for detecting relevant transcripts. Most expression technologies require the removal of globin mRNA from the sample before processing, a time-consuming and costly step that introduces bias. Due to such challenges, researchers are demanding better expression methods for use with clinical samples, like whole blood and feces.
      Choosing the right transcriptome profiling tool compatible with clinical samples is key to generating informative biomarkers that can be used to improve human health.
      During this webinar, leading translational researchers will:
      • Demonstrate how novel transcriptome profiling assays can reliably identify biomarkers from even the most challenging of samples including feces.
      • Explain how to generate robust expression data from small amounts of whole blood without the need to eliminate globin mRNA, saving time and money while retaining data integrity.
      • Discuss the importance of choosing the right technology to obtain reliable data from rare samples while still preserving material for future use.  
      • Answer your questions live during the broadcast!

      For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures. 

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