The Translational Biomarker Analytical Core (TBAC) Laboratory makes available to DRC investigators analytical techniques to support studies of diabetes mellitus, insulin resistance, intermediary metabolism, and medical consequences of diabetes in human subjects and animal models. The services provided are best based in a Core Laboratory because they require investigator consultation, special instrumentation and methods that are difficult or impracticable to establish in individual laboratories. In addition, this arrangement allows for coordinated attention to reliability and reproducibility of the assays employed. In investigations of glucose homeostasis, insulin secretion, dyslipidemia, hormone action, molecular genetics, or drug effects, it is essential to be able to monitor hormones such as insulin, C-peptide, glucagon, GLP-1, GIP, PYY, cortisol and catecholamines and such metabolites as glucose, FFA, glycerol, ketones, amino acids, and lipids. With the increasing technical capabilities to develop and validate novel disease biomarkers, one of the key functions of the Core is to expeditiously develop and inaugurate these new methods so that the research base can avail itself of these assays. In the past funding cycle, the Core provided ~80,000 assays to 33 DRC members supported by 81 grants. The resultant data have contributed to 17 new NIH grants, and 85 Core-supported publications (69 as primary, 16 as secondary Core).
The SPECIFIC AIMS of the TBAC are: 1) To meet the high demand for a dynamic range of bioassays by the research base, enhancing efficiency, quality, and reproducibility, while minimizing costs. 2) To respond to members? needs by introducing new assays and methods that leverage the expertise of the Core staff. 3) To provide expert advice to investigators and their associates on analytical methods, experimental design, and data interpretation. 4) To train junior investigators and post-doctoral fellows in practical skills in the Core methods and, if appropriate, transfer analytical methods to their own labs. 5) To facilitate access to targeted metabolomics/lipidomics determinations by the Columbia CTSA Biomarker Laboratory. 6) To facilitate access to experts in bioinformatics, kinetic studies and pathway analyses required to appropriately interpret metabolomics/lipidomics determinations and stable isotopes kinetic studies. 7) To facilitate collaborations among the research base, advertise available resources, and develop and/or facilitate investigator access to new technologies, such as MS-based methods to analyze and quantify metabolites. TBAC analytic and consultative capabilities are closely articulated with the other DRC Cores to provide an integrated approach to quantitative metabolic analyses (Fig. 1).
The Translational Biomarker Analytical Core (TBAC) provides analytical services to the DRC Research Base so that the investigators have access to the most advanced techniques for analysis of metabolites. This approach saves capital equipment costs, technologist and investigator time, and optimizes the productivity of the Research Base. The Core also facilitates collaborations among investigators and has an important, explicit training function particularly for young investigators. Innovation is inherent in the development, assessment and actuation of new relevant methodologies.
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