GOSH UCL BRC Translational Biomarker Discovery Facility (GOSomics)

GOSomics supports the discovery of novel biomarkers and their translation into clinical tests for use by diagnostic laboratories by analysis of protein expression in human tissues and fluids. 

GOSomics was established in 2012 as part of the NIHR BRC in collaboration with the Biological Mass Spectrometry Unit within UCL Institute of Child Health.

GOSomics supports the discovery of novel biomarkers and their translation into clinical tests for use by diagnostic laboratories by analysis of protein expression in human tissues and fluids. 

The BRC investment enables the facility to undertake pilot studies, including set-up, sample preparation, analysis and bioinformatics. This is important to achieve proof of concept that can then be used by researchers applying for funding to translate discovery to patient benefit.  

Projects undertaken by GOSomics often involve collaborations between departments within GOSH and UCL, including; the Institute of Ophthalmology, Molecular Immunology, the Clinical Medical Genetics Unit, the Surgical Unit at GOSH and the Institute of Neurology.

About our work

The facility has already resulted in the discovery of novel sensitive biomarkers that can predict presymptomatic kidney disease, which are being developed into a rapid, multiplexed urine test for use by the GOSH chemical pathology department. There is great potential to use this non-invasive test to look at other types of kidney disease, for example as a non-invasive test for early detection of renal dysfunction that currently requires a kidney biopsy. 

Another benefit to patients from GOSomics work includes the ability to rapidly and accurately monitor enzyme replacement therapy in patients with Fabry disease. 

Other highlights are the development of a new rapid and more specific maternal serum test for Down’s Syndrome and, in close collaboration with our sister hospital the National Hospital for Neurology, the discovery of potential new biomarkers of neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia).

GOSomics is already supporting over 20 collaborative projects across UCL and plan to expand their operations to include both metabolomics and matrix-assisted laser desorption / ionisation tissue imaging during 2014 to increase capability and opportunities for collaboration.