Executive Director, Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University
Director, Biodesign Institute’s Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics; Dalton Endowed Chair of Cancer Research and Medicinal Chemistry;
Virginia G. Piper Chair of Personalized Medicine; Professor, School of Molecular Sciences; Arizona State University
Adjunct Professor of Medicine - College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic
Joshua LaBaer is one of the nation’s foremost investigators in the rapidly expanding field of personalized diagnostics. His efforts focus on the discovery and validation of biomarkers — unique molecular fingerprints of disease — which provide early warning for major illnesses, including cancer, infections and diabetes. Dr LaBaer leads a highly multidisciplinary staff of molecular biologists, cell biologists, biochemists, software engineers, database specialists, bioinformaticists, biostatisticians, and automation engineers. They employ open reading frame clones to the high throughput (HT) study of protein function. Their library of clones, DNASU, expects to achieve a complete set of full length human genes this year. Dr. LaBaer invented a novel protein microarray technology, Nucleic Acid Programmable Protein Array, which uses printed cDNAs as template to produce full-length folded proteins in situ. This technology has been used widely for biomedical research, including the discovery of a panel of 28 autoantibody biomarkers that led to Videssa™, the first CLIA-certified diagnostic test for the detection of breast cancer. Recent advances in the lab include the development of high-density arrays and multiplexed arrays. The use of human ribosomes and chaperone proteins has improved both the yield and natural folding of the proteins on the arrays, enabling the production of enzymatically active receptor tyrosine kinases on the arrays that could be screened with selective tyrosine kinase inhibitors.