NIH grants $3M to California lab, studying mass spectrometry

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Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif., recently received $3 million from the National Institutes of Health to acquire a new biomedical accelerator mass spectrometry (bioAMS) instrument. The instrument will provide analysis for medical and other biological research.

In recent years, lab investments have allowed researchers to develop an interface that would handle liquid samples and bypass the graphitization process. The new bioAMS instrument will seek to couple with this transformational technological development to perform biomedical human subject tracer studies and body burden assessment addressing important questions in nutrition, toxicology, pharmacology, drug development and comparative medicine.

The instrument also will support LLNL's biological detection and medical countermeasures programs. Examples of applications include dating of cancer stem cells, developing individualized patient therapies and rapid testing of new therapeutics against infectious agents.
LLNL researchers will work to develop and validate the instrument with the goal of deploying the technology to general clinical laboratories in approximately five years.