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Profiling antibody immune markers using nucleic acid systems


Technology to profile nucleic acid materials has been greatly advanced over the past decade. Nowadays, tools such as real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) and next generation sequencing (NGS) are standard workhorses for biomedical laboratory. However, in contrast to great advance in nucleic acid science, assays used to quantify proteins and antibodies immune markers remain much stagnant. Traditional assays immunoassays such as enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) and western blots, invented almost half a century ago, are still widely used. These assays face limitations including low sensitivity, low specificity, limited multiplex power and requirement of large sample volume. To this end, I have thought to create a methodology that allows researchers to leverage advanced nucleic acid tools to profile protein and antibody immune markers. In this thesis, I will provide an overview on current landscapes of nucleic acid-based assays for protein and antibody immune markers, and discuss how the new nucleic acid-based assay that I developed differentiates and complements other nucleic acid tools. Then, I will describe in details about our new nucleic acid assays including the creation of protein-DNA conjugates and use of these reagents to transform protein/antibody identities into quantifiable nucleic acid signals. Furthermore, I will describe potential impact of such methods in research and clinical settings. Finally, I will discuss potential development that is required to make this assays widely deployable in research and clinical communities.

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