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European Biopharmaceutical Review

The LIMS Effect

 

The role of biobanks in today’s research can be traced to the scientific progress made on the Human Genome project. Once the genome was characterised, science entered the ‘genomic age’ and researchers focused their efforts on understanding the mechanisms related to triggering a specific gene and the impact of that gene on the human body. The ‘mapping’ of the Human Genome gave scientists the ability to identify genes and their function, and to understand the role that genetics plays in the origin and progression of diseases. Biobanks grew out of the need to provide the biological samples, or biospecimens, that make this research possible. Today, these biospecimens serve as the basis for the novel research and development needed for the discovery of breakthrough drugs and medical treatments. Researchers investigate why some people develop particular diseases while others do not, and how each person’s lifestyle, environment and genes affect the progression of particular illnesses. With the knowledge of how disease is triggered, scientists are better able to identify potential diagnosis and treatment strategies.

Another key development has been the use of biomarkers to help clinicians and drug manufacturers track the success of a drug in the clinic. Translational science or medicine connects the research lab to the patient (or ‘bench to bedside’) in order to help drive potential drug candidates through the drug development lifecycle. This increased focus on epidemiology and translational science has led to a surge in the number of samples generated for research and analysis. As a result, biospecimen management has become a key component of drug development organisations’ research and clinical trial activities.


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Trish Meek is Director of Product Strategy, Life Sciences at Thermo Fisher Scientific. Trish joined Informatics when Thermo Fisher acquired Thru-Put Systems, Inc in June 1999. She is responsible for determining the strategy of Thermo Fisher’s current portfolio while identifying new marketing opportunities within the Life Sciences. Trish has worked for Thermo Fisher for the past nine years in the development, sale, support and marketing of laboratory software. A graduate of Loyola University with a BS in Chemistry, Trish began her career doing environmental analysis and chemical vapour deposition research.

Mark Murawski is a team leader within the Global Professional Services organisation at Thermo Fisher Scientific Informatics, responsible for Nautilus projects in the Americas. Mark has been with the company for over 11 years, and has held positions of increased responsibility, while also maintaining close contact with the Nautilus user community. Mark holds a BS in Information Technology and Business and has considerable experience managing and executing LIMS projects for customers in different industries that face unique challenges in their respective areas.

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Trish Meek
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Mark Murawski
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