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Biomarker Laboratory

Request ACTRI Services

Through the TRT Laboratories, investigators will have access to the Biomarker Laboratory. Please click on the “Request ACTRI Services” button for information on contacting the laboratories described below.

Biomarkers are biological indicators that signal a changed physiological state due to disease or a therapeutic intervention. For example, in inflammatory diseases, typical biomarkers include cytokines (e.g., IL-1, TNF-alpha), metalloproteinases and small molecule mediators (e.g., prostaglandins). We measure biomarkers as either expression at the mRNA and protein level or as functional activity. The three principal uses of biomarkers are as (1) surrogate markers of disease; (2) proof-of-concept indicators, in that they aid in development decisions (“Go/No Go” to the next study); and (3) a means to understanding the mechanisms of action of drugs.

The Biomarker Laboratory provides analyte determinations on a variety of human and animal materials principally through immunoassays and quantitative PCR. Assays are provided at affordable cost to investigators carrying out clinical, translational, and basic research at UC San Diego and at our Partner Institutions. The Laboratory:

  • Performs all validated assays with internal and commercial QC in a timely manner.
  • Introduces and validates (GLP) new assays, as pilot studies, with commercial QC and internal quality assurance program (IQAP) support.
  • Helps physicians to develop and validate disease- and patient-oriented biomarker assays.
  • Works in tandem with the ACTRI Biomedical Informatics Division to provide secure data storage and retrieval.
  • Teaches and trains undergraduate and graduate students and junior investigators in laboratory techniques.
  • Helps PIs to develop protocols and procedures for collecting and storing samples.

The Biomarkers Laboratory currently offers over 125 validated assays. This number is growing, as we are continually adding new assays based on requests from ACTRI members or on anticipated needs using emerging technologies. If an assay is not available within the Biomarkers Laboratory, we will develop it in-house or assist in identifying a laboratory that performs the assay at a reasonable cost.

Major Biomarker Laboratory Equipment

  • MSD QuickPlex SQ120
  • Biotek Synergy H1 microplate reader with Fluorescence/Luminescence and dual injectors
  • Bio-Rad VersaDoc MP4000 imaging system
  • Beckman Coulter Multipurpose Liquid Scintillation counter
  • Leica 2400 automatic cryostat
  • Nikon Eclipse E800 microscope with epi-fluorescence
  • Olympus MicroFire digital camera
  • Nikon Diaphot inverted microscope
  • ABI 2720 Thermal Cycler
  • ABI Step One Plus Realtime Quantitative PCR system
  • 4 Baker Sterilgard biosafety cabinets
  • Nuaire LabGard biosafety cabinet
  • 10 Sanyo CO2 incubators
  • Millipore Milli-Q water purification system
  • Millipore Super-Q water purification system
  • ABI Quant Studio 6 Flex Real-Time PCR System
  • Olympus BX 40 inverted microscope
  • Olympus BX41 inverted microscope with DP25 camera
  • KingFisher Flex Nucleic acid purification system
  • 2 Sanyo Labcool 4˚C refrigerator
  • Accsense automated temperature monitoring/alarm and web based logging for freezers
  • Omni-Ruptor tissue dissociator with crygenic cooling module
  • 3 -180˚C MVE TEC 3000 Cryogenic freezers
  • CBS Isothermal V1500 Cryogenic freezer
  • 3 -20˚C Upright Freezers
  • 11 -80˚C Sanyo freezers
  • 6 -80˚C Panasonic freezers
  • 5 Sorvall Biofuge Primo R centrifuges
  • Eppendorf 5810 centrifuge
  • Eppendorf 5702R centrifuge
  • Beckman 22R microfuge
  • Sorvall RC3C Plus centrifuge
  • 3 Brady IP300 sample label printers

Biomarker Open Wet Lab

We offer training and full- or self-service access to the following resources. Sign up here.

  • Nano-Pro 1000 automated capillary electrophoresis
  • Simon protein detection and imaging workstation
  • Eppendorf epMotion 5070 automated liquid handling robot
  • Caliper sciclone ALH 3000 liquid handling workstation
  • Molecular Devices SpectraMax 340PC384 equipped with SoftMax Pro 5.2
  • Molecular Devices SpectraMax M5 Reader equipped with SoftMax Pro 5.2 software for data reduction
  • Meso Scale Diagnostics (MSD) Sector Imager 2400
  • Corbett Life Sciences: CAS 1820-Xtractor Gene Robot
  • ABI 7300 Realtime Quantitative PCR system
  • Bio-Rad Gel Doc XR+ gel imaging system
  • Sample processing stations and wet lab space

Contact Us

University of California, San Diego
Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute, L2E330
9452 Medical Center Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037
Phone: (858) 246-2446