In the middle of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, on Oct. 13, sits a day focused entirely on the type of breast cancer that is the leading killer among women aged 20–59 years: Metastatic breast cancer. The good news is this sort of cancer is getting increased attention and funding, and with technology delivering us more sophisticated tools to fight it, there's a very real possibility it will be cured in this century.
Thankfully, Theresa’s Research Foundation stepped in and met our research needs by replacing our old western blot developer with a brand new, state of the art, developer that not only increases the speed and accuracy by which we analyze protein data, but also allows multiple verification points to save time and money. The Bio-Rad ChemiDoc Touch and software allows us to cut the time it takes to analyze proteins in our samples from a multi-day study to only a few hours. The ChemiDoc Touch Imaging System is for gel and western blot imaging. Western blots are used in the scientific community to detect, separate, and analyze specific proteins of interest from a homogenous sample (ex: a cell line or tumor tissue). After proteins are sorted out from the rest of the cellular extract, they are separated out by size and charge using gel electrophoresis. Once separated, the bands are transferred to a blot so that scientists can use probes to detect a specific protein of interest from all of the other proteins in the sample; they are then able to analyze this data for their samples. The ChemiDoc Touch Imaging System has touch screen computer allows us to use chemiluminescence and UV/vis fluorescence detection and blot imaging of specific proteins for our study with great ease and is also user friendly. It allows for high sensitivity imaging to detect low level proteins that may not have been detected with previous methods as well as a signal-to-noise software to allow us to decipher proteins of interest from high background signaling; improving our data analysis and lowering chance of false positive results. In contrast with older methods, which have no analysis software, this system can also normalize and quantify data for us, removing the possibility of human calculation errors. Using this technology, the time and cost that it takes to analyze a sample has been greatly reduced, allowing for a higher throughput of data analysis to streamline our science so that we can do bigger and greater things in the field of breast cancer research. Thank you to Theresa’s Research Foundation for this phenomenal donation to our research, which has already had a positive, effect on the quality and quantify of our data. We know we will do great things with it.
Alyssa N. Johnston
Laboratory of Dr. Yi Li
Graduate Student Director– Theresa’s Research Foundation
Translational Biology and Molecular Medicine Graduate Program
Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
We are excited to announce that Theresa Research Foundation provided Dr. Ellis, and the Baylor College of Medicine, $30,000 to purchase a Bio-Rad ChemiDoc Touch Imaging System. The ChemiDoc will allow better workflow for researches in the lab, and provide quicker results than previously were possible.
Passionate support for a cause is often rooted in personal experiences. For
30-year-old Josh Newby-Harpole, his passion is finding a cure for metastatic
breast cancer after his mother, Theresa, developed the disease in 2010.