About the Biomarker Discovery laboratory
The Biomarker Discovery laboratory is dedicated to the development of biomarker analytical assays and discovery program. The laboratory provides not only the facility and expertise to analyse known biomarkers, but also the opportunity to discover and develop novel biomarkers that are of clinical utility in the diagnosis, prognosis, and monitoring of disease conditions and therapeutic responses.
The laboratory further affords the opportunity to study mechanisms of disease progression and therapeutic responses. The academic research within the laboratory is centred on the areas of cardiovascular pharmacology, heart failure, cardiorenal syndrome, and the identification of novel therapeutic targets for drug discovery and development.
We are a very able and unique team whose research has gone from strength to strength conducting research from cells, to animals and human clinical trials; a real from bench to bedside research team. The research laboratory has been very productive in producing many high-impact publications and patents as well as has been instrumental in securing two NHMRC Program Grants since 2005 and this success continues with a new Program Grant funded from 2016–2020.
Currently, the laboratory has a wide range of capabilities in preclinical studies and drug discovery, which includes cell and molecular biology, protein biochemistry, drug design and development, pharmacology, biomarkers discovery, and in vivo animal models for cardiac and renal disease studies. The laboratory’s in vitro capability includes the primary culture of cardiac myocytes and cardiac fibroblasts, vascular cells, kidney cells, blood cells, and cell lines. The laboratory utilise those cell culture to conduct a broad range of preclinical studies including early phase pharmacological and drug discovery studies, drug target discovery, cellular efficacy validation as well as cellular toxicity studies. The laboratory also has a very strong preclinical efficacy study capability in that they have several well-established and routinely performed in vivo animal models for both cardiac and renal diseases. The laboratory is well-equipped with strong expertise in the analysis of cardiac (echocardiography, hemodynamic and pressure-volume loop analysis) and renal (direct glomerular filtration rate) function as well as all the post-tissue processing.
Our research is focused on three areas:
- Novel therapies for heart failure.
- Cardiorenal pharmacology fibrosis.
- Biomarker discovery.
Our current research is targeting the investigation of the underlying mechanisms of heart failure and cardiorenal fibrosis, therapeutic target, and drug discovery. This includes the roles of inflammation, fibrosis, sphingolipids, and related metabolic enzymes in cardiac and renal fibrosis.
We are currently conducting assays to support several Baker Institute clinical trials. We also collaborate with external institutions extensively in biomarker assays.