My research focuses on the development of biomarkers to be used in the screening, diagnosis or treatment of huan diseases, including cancer. Because the research laboratory is closely aligned with the clinical genetics laboratory service at Kingston General Hospital, the research in the lab is geared towards clinical applications for targeted biomarkers.
Our research includes the study of DNA, RNA and protein biomarkers in diseases ranging from cancer (breast, brain, melanoma, bladder, colon, CLL) to major depression. In particular, we are currently focused on the use of circulating biomarkers such as miRNA and protein species that can be found in the plasma of patients. Profiling these molecules, and then integrating the information from mutliple types of biomarkers to provide information about disease state or likely response to therapy is the primary goal of these studies.
We make use of multiple platforms, including next generation sequencing, quantitative mass spectrometry, real time PCR and microarray to generate targeted biomarker data. We also have an emerging interest and focus in informatics, including the proper handling and storage of biomarker data, the preprocessing pipelines required to ensure high quality data, and the analytic pipelines needed to deliver an effective clinical tool.