Archive for Partners

Push to Walk Partners with Seton Hall University for Study

Riverdale, NJ (PRWEB) May 28, 2015

Throughout the past few months, Push to Walk has acted as a study site for research comparing the validity and reliability of the Shaw Gait Assessment in comparison to the GaitRite. Dr. Preeti Nair, P.T., Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at Seton Hall University is the principle investigator for the study.

The Shaw Gait Assessment is a free online tool, where the GaitRite is a $ 30,000 piece of equipment. The GaitRite is considered the gold standard in providing information about how someone walks. It can collect data on walking speed, distance, and time between steps. The Shaw Gait Assessment has been shown to provide comparable data to the GaitRite for populations who have suffered stroke or been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, but to date, no information has been gathered about the reliability of the Shaw Gait Assessment for incomplete spinal cord injury.

This is the first time Push to Walk has collaborated with a university to conduct research at its facility. Once the data is analyzed, Dr. Nair hopes that she can publish the results as a poster to be presented at various conferences. “It is a great opportunity for Push to Walk to partner with an institution such as Seton Hall. Our top priority has always been providing high quality exercise to optimize the health and quality of life of our clients. With this research collaboration, we also wish to show that we are capable of making a bigger contribution to the science behind exercise and neuro-rehabilitation. In doing so, we hope to find even better ways of benefitting our clients and other people living with paralysis. We are lucky to have a researcher like Dr. Nair and Seton Hall University willing to help and guide us on this mission,” says Push to Walk Program Director, Tommy Sutor. If the results of the study are positive, it will show that places like Push to Walk, who normally couldn’t afford expensive pieces of equipment like the GaitRite, can still gather useful and meaningful data about changes in their clients’ abilities using the Shaw Gait Assessment.

Donation opportunities are available on the Push to Walk website: For more information, please contact Stephanie Lajam at (862) 200-5848 or slajam(at)pushtowalknj(dot)org.


About Push to Walk

Founded in 2007, Push to Walk is an organization that provides individualized workouts and resources to people with spinal cord injuries and other forms of paralysis to optimize current quality of life and to prepare for future medical advancements. It is the only program of its kind in the New York- New Jersey area. Push to Walk’s rigorous one-on-one workout approach challenges clients to reach their personal goals and achieve maximum independence, leading to greater success and fulfillment in their personal and professional lives. Push to Walk is only able to cover about 65% of its operating costs through client fees, and relies on grants and fundraising events to help make up the difference. A 501(C)3 non-profit, Push to Walk is located in Riverdale, New Jersey. Visit to learn more.

Freeman Formula Products Partners with NPI / IHM to Expand Global Sales and Communications

Boca Raton FL (PRWEB) April 20, 2015

Freeman Formula, a brand dedicated to creating nutritional products with premium ingredients that help people to achieve their health and fitness goals, announced that it has teamed up with Nutritional Products International, a leading health products marketing organization, to expand its brand presence on a global scale.

The company started developing its products as a response to need by clients of the owners’ personal training company, Well Rounded Health and Fitness.

“We embarked on creating optimal health and wellness for our clientele,” said Jeramy Freeman, co-founder of Freeman Formula. “We helped our clients get in beautiful shape and live fulfilling lives of achievement and success. As our fitness business continued to grow we began to find a gaping hole in the supplement industry. There were products for athletes, seniors, bodybuilders and vegans. What did success-driven, family-oriented health and wellness goal achievers take? Where were the health and fitness supplement solutions for them?”

Freeman, a long-time industry guru, began formulating everyday solutions for busy men and women who care about their health, image and success. Freeman Formula products provide nutrients to fuel busy professionals and to maintain energy during their day, enhance their workouts, maximize their body’s capacity to burn calories, increase metabolism, strengthen bones and cartilage and much more.

The Freeman Formula is innovative and revolutionary. It has created some of the most scientifically advanced life solution products the supplement world has to offer. The company combined breakthrough products with antioxidants, herbs, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, creating products that sharpen the mind, repair the body, help to increase muscle mass and improve a person’s overall mood and health.

The company will be working with Nutritional Products International to market and distribute its products and produce greater awareness of the numerous benefits they have.

“We’re excited for the chance to work with Freeman Formula and get their brand the recognition it deserves,” said Mitch Gould, CEO of NPI. “We’ve already seen a fantastic response from consumers regarding the Freeman Formula products. Now it’s just a matter of increasing exposure.”

Freeman believes that increased exposure will mean big things for the Freeman Formula brand.

“Life is far too short to settle for anything less than extraordinary,” said Freeman. “That’s the mindset we took when developing these products, and that’s the mindset that has helped so many of our fitness clients over the years to find incredible success in their health goals. With this partnership, people all over the world will be able to live the extraordinary life now, with the help of Freeman Formula.”

To learn more about Freeman Formula and its products, visit

About Nutritional Products International (NPI):

Headquartered in Boca Raton, FL, Nutritional Products International (NPI) is a privately held company staffed with a complimentary team of marketing professionals that specializes in retail distribution of Nutraceuticals, Dietary Supplements, Functional Beverages, and Skin Care Products. NPI offers a unique proven approach for product manufacturers world wide seeking to launch or expand distribution of their products in the U.S. retail market. For more information, please visit

uBiome Partners with PicnicHealth

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) May 21, 2015

uBiome, the leading startup focused on microbiome sequencing, has announced a partnership with PicnicHealth, a healthcare company that collects and consolidates medical records for patients. Participants diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) will receive a complementary PicnicHealth account as well as a complementary uBiome research kit. Both companies were funded by Y Combinator in Summer 2014.

For more information on this partnership and how to become a participant, please visit

Through this partnership, uBiome aims to research the IBD-associated microbiome using well-validated clinical data. “uBiome is looking forward to this important partnership with PicnicHealth. We will use the information from this study to learn more about the underlying causes of this disease and do important research to alleviate the suffering of the millions of IBD patients,” said Jessica Richman, co-founder and CEO of uBiome.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease currently affects millions of Americans and its cause is still largely unknown. IBD patients suffer from chronic inflammation of the digestive tract, which can lead to pain, diarrhea, fatigue, and other symptoms. Currently, treatment options include anti-inflammatory drugs, immune system suppressors, antibiotics, and in severe cases, surgery to remove the colon and rectum.

A growing body of research indicates a potential link between the microbial composition of the gut flora and IBD symptoms. Stable microbial populations of various bacteria within the intestine are associated with a healthy gut. When these populations are disturbed, IBD and other gut maladies can emerge. This initial disturbance can be linked to multiple factors including medications, diet, supplements and even the host immune system. uBiome aims to correlate these specific factors with gut microbial states.

PicnicHealth Co-founder Noga Leviner suffers from Crohn’s disease herself and was inspired to start Picnic Health after struggling to keep track of her own health data. “Through this partnership, uBiome is giving hundreds of IBD patients the opportunity to start creating a single, aggregated medical chart. I can speak first hand to how much this will help other IBD patients focus on what’s most important: our health. Not to mention that the data gathered through this strategic partnership will provide new insights into this disease,” said Noga Leviner, co-founder and CEO of Picnic Health.

PicnicHealth customers typically pay $ 399 per year for a service which collects and manages their medical records in an easy to use format. uBiome customers typically pay $ 89 for a one-time gut sampling kit. Individuals joining the study will receive a free PicnicHealth for IBD account and a free uBiome kit. In return, they will allow use of clinically validated data in the research study. Patients will also receive access to their own microbiome and healthcare data.

About uBiome

uBiome ( was founded in 2012 to sequence the microbiome for researchers, clinicians, and the public. With the largest microbiome database in the world, uBiome uses microbial genomics to help patients benefit from new discoveries in scientific research. uBiome joined Y Combinator in Summer 2014 and raised a Series A from Andreessen Horowitz.

About Picnic Health

PicnicHealth ( helps patients with complex conditions manage their medical information by collecting records and images on a patient’s behalf, securely maintaining an up-to-date digital medical chart, and coordinating sharing records with doctors and family members. Patients get a user-friendly interface to their care and doctors get the patient data they need to make the best care decisions.

About Y Combinator

Y Combinator ( is the world’s premier program for technology entrepreneurs. Founded in 2005, Y Combinator has backed numerous billion-dollar startups from the seed stage, including AirBNB, Dropbox, Stripe, and Zenefits. It has also helped dozens of startups have multimillion dollar exits.

If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview, call uBiome at +1 415-275-2461 or email CEO Jessica Richman at jessica(at)ubiome(dot)com

Contact: Jessica Richman, CEO

Cell: +1 415-275-2461


Email: jessica(at)ubiome(dot)com

Gigabody Partners with Ilyse Baker to Offer Dancinerate

Alameda, California (PRWEB) April 14, 2015 ( announced today its partnership with Ilyse Baker to offer Dancinerate®, a collection of dance workout videos, as part of its on-demand library of fitness videos.

Created by Ilyse Baker (, Dancinerate® incorporates different styles of dance into workouts that are professional, effective, fast-paced and fun. “Hip Hop Fusion” blends rhythm and dance to work the lower body. “Sassy Jazz,” an upcoming release, infuses cardio with jazz moves to create a routine focused on the legs, glutes and core. In addition to full-length workout videos, Gigabody offers ultra-efficient 5-minute mini-workouts – Dancinerate’s® “Ballet Grooves” is aimed at sculpting the arms, shoulders and legs using moves from ballet, barre, and modern dance.

Ilyse Baker, creator of the Dancinerate® dance fitness program, is a celebrity trainer and one of the most sought after dance instructors in America. She is the lead talent and sole choreographer for The Ultimate Dance Party Kit for Weight Watchers, as well as a lead instructor for multiple global fitness brands including QiClub, FitnessGlo, and Wellbeats. Baker is an AFAA Certified Fitness Instructor and has a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Performance and Dance Education from Point Park University. Based in Los Angeles, Baker travels the world showing people the power of expressing themselves through dance movement.

The dance-based workout is a major shift in contemporary exercise, inspiring people to get fit with dance. Gigabody is pleased to expand its collection of dance workout videos with Ilyse Baker’s Dancinerate® and to extend her “power of dance” to its audience.

Gigabody offers subscription access to its streaming fitness video library. The site provides members with unlimited viewing of a curated library of professional workout videos and training plans, on-demand. The growing library spans many styles of exercise including Cardio, Strength, Yoga, Kickboxing, Boxing, Dance, Barre, Flexibility, Abs, and Core. In addition to individual workout videos, Gigabody provides members with schedule-based training plans and personalized video recommendations.

Unlimited access to Gigabody is $ 8.99 per month with a two-week trial available to all.

Gigabody. Stay home. Work out. Get fit.

StayWell partners with Rutland Regional Medical Center to improve Osteoporosis Education and Patient Outcomes

Yardley, Penn. (PRWEB) January 27, 2015

The StayWell Company, LLC (StayWell), a leading provider of health education and engagement solutions, announced today that Rutland Regional Medical Center will provide their clinicians with access to StayWell’s custom-created Osteoporosis FastGuide, part of the Krames Patient Education suite of products. Rutland treats an estimated 1,200 osteoporosis patients each year and will use StayWell’s FastGuide to educate patients and improve compliance with osteoporosis treatment plans.

“Our vision is to be the best community healthcare system in New England, and our access to StayWell’s health education resources gets us closer to that goal by standardizing our educational materials for patients with osteoporosis,” said Jill Jesso-White, manager, marketing and public relations, Rutland Regional Medical Center. “Standardized messages are more consistent and increase patient understanding of osteoporosis: from symptoms and diagnosis, to common treatments and patient self-care. This knowledge can produce better outcomes, better quality of life for patients, and increased patient satisfaction for the Rutland care system.”

Krames Patient Education, a product of StayWell, is designed to educate patients to help them better manage their condition, improving health outcomes, quality and patient satisfaction. Content is developed with strict attention to clinical guidelines and adherence to the principles of health literacy design. StayWell content undergoes thorough evaluation and assessment that involves a highly qualified team of research librarians, medical writers, medical illustrators, expert subject matter consultants and production specialists. On average, each piece of content is reviewed twice by a team of 12 to 15 consultants during development to make certain content is evidence-based and clinically accurate.

“We know accurate information is the first step in maintaining your health — information that’s up-to-date, easy to understand, engaging and provides clear action steps to better health,” said David Gregg, M.D., chief medical officer for StayWell. “The Osteoporosis FastGuide focuses on a very common concern for both women and men, as they age: how to maintain good bone health and avoid unnecessary fractures of the spine and hip. With the FastGuide, patients will learn how to prevent osteoporosis through diet, exercise and lifestyle changes; how to screen for osteoporosis; and how to work with their physician to manage osteoporosis.”

To learn more about StayWell, visit To learn more about the company’s Krames Patient Education print products, visit

About StayWell

StayWell is a health engagement company that helps its clients engage and educate people to improve health and business results. StayWell brings decades of experience working across the health care industry to design solutions that address its clients’ evolving needs. We fuse expertise in health engagement and the science of behavior change with an integrated portfolio of solutions and robust content assets to effectively engage people to make positive health care decisions. StayWell programs have received numerous top industry honors, including the C. Everett Koop National Health Award and the Web Health Award for health engagement programs. StayWell also has received URAC and NCQA accreditation for several of its programs. StayWell is headquartered in Yardley, Pennsylvania, and also has major locations in Salt Lake City, Utah, and St. Paul., Minnesota. To learn more, visit

About Rutland Regional Medical Center

Established in 1896, Rutland Regional is the second largest hospital in Vermont. Their commitment to quality patient care led to Rutland Regional becoming the first hospital in Vermont to receive both the Governor’s Award for Performance Excellence and Magnet Recognition® for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovation. To learn more, visit

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PeopleMatter Partners with Leading Automated Benefits Enrollment and Management Provider

CHARLESTON, SC (PRWEB) February 05, 2015

Today PeopleMatter announced its new partnership with leading benefits enrollment software provider, Spotlite, to offer a best-in-class, online experience to shop and enroll in benefits. Founded in 2012, Spotlite offers a simple, streamlined solution for employees and HR administrators ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 brands.

By automating and simplifying employee enrollment and benefits management, PeopleMatter and Spotlite will help organizations save time, increase productivity and drive employee awareness and engagement. Spotlite’s self-service, educational resources will ensure employees truly understand their benefits options, which will lead to greater involvement and higher satisfaction.

“Gone are the days when HR departments have a line of confused team members outside their door during Open Enrollment,” said Chris Hill, CEO of Spotlite. “We’re giving PeopleMatter customers decision support and letting them shop for benefits just like they’d shop for anything else online. The future is about empowering benefits consumers with the information they need to make responsible decisions.”

In addition, the partnership will help ensure compliance, maximize data accuracy and security, and reduce companywide benefits-related costs. Data transfers between PeopleMatter, Spotlite and each company’s carrier or broker will eliminate data re-entry and save time. HR professionals will be able to track everything from who has enrolled in which plan to how many employees have only partially enrolled and need a reminder.

“So often benefits selection and enrollment is time-consuming and complex,” said Nate DaPore, President and CEO of PeopleMatter. “Spotlite is allowing us to lift a huge administrative burden from the shoulders of HR departments and put employees in the driver’s seat instead. We’re giving team members the ability to research, compare and purchase benefits online, so they actually understand how to enroll and what’s best for their families – all within the PeopleMatter Platform™. It’s truly a win-win for everyone involved.”

Spotlite offers seamless integration with all major carriers and products – including Aetna, ING, Humana and many more – and can work with carriers and products to give employers the flexibility they’re looking for in their benefits packages. The full integration between Spotlite and PeopleMatter will be available to customers later this year.

About Spotlite

Spotlite offers cloud-based technology solutions that enable consumer-driven benefits success for employees, employers, carriers and brokers. Spotlite Choice, the company’s flagship product, is a best-in-class online employee benefits education, decision support and enrollment system for core and voluntary benefits. Spotlite Central is a plug-and-play system that streamlines administration of benefit offerings with a sophisticated data exchange system, which enables easy integration, minimal disruption, total accuracy and maximum security.

Spotlite’s clients are public institutions and employers ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Launched in 2012, Spotlite derives its consumer experience orientation from its PerkSpot origin. PerkSpot, founded in 2006, is a leading online discounts and rewards platform now serving 3.5 million employees. Additional information about Spotlite and its consumer-oriented solutions may be found at

About PeopleMatter

PeopleMatter is a powerful and complete workforce management platform designed to fit the specific needs of service-industry brands. Our complete set of mobile, workforce solutions and business analytics tools connect processes, employees and customers in entirely new ways. Automating and optimizing people processes since 2009, PeopleMatter helps more than 42,000 service-industry locations thrive through better efficiency, engagement and customer satisfaction. PeopleMatter is headquartered in Charleston, SC and on the Web at, @peoplematter and

Reasons to Believe, the Non-Profit Organization, Partners with Modmacro for Event Branding

Menifee, Ca (PRWEB) December 29, 2014

Modmacro, the marketing and design firm in Southern California, today announced they have partnered with Reasons to Believe to design a complete event campaign package for the non-profit’s Open House on February 21st. The event serves as an opportunity for donors and friends of Reasons to Believe to tour their newly remodeled and expanded headquarters located in Covina, California.

Modmacro is developing the event’s theme, naming and overall branding, which also includes a logo, corresponding color palette, and imagery. The event package also includes supporting materials such as invitations, branded stationary, response cards and graphics to support online registration. For the event itself, Modmacro is designing environmental graphics, name tags, and the red carpet backdrop.

“We are excited to partner with Reasons to Believe on this project,” said Jerry Lund, Creative Director of Modmacro. “This is exactly the type of project we love – one in which we are involved from the beginning and do the initial branding and then design all of the supplemental materials as well.”

“Reasons to Believe is a highly-respected organization that is doing great work in the area of educating people on the connection between science and Christianity. We believe in the work they are doing and hope this is the beginning of a great working relationship with them.”

About Reasons to Believe

Reasons to Believe is a non-profit organization located in Covina, California whose mission is to spread the Christian Gospel by demonstrating that sound reason and scientific research – including the very latest discoveries – consistently support, rather than erode, confidence in the truth of the Bible and faith in the personal, transcendent God revealed in both Scripture and nature. Learn more about Reasons to Believe at

About Modmacro, Inc.

With a strong balance of marketing experience, design talent and data analysis, Modmacro’s goal is simple. They make organizations look great and get found. Whether that means on the web, or through more traditional print marketing, they grow businesses. Modmacro is a full-service web design, branding and marketing firm dedicated to helping small businesses and non-profits succeed. There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to marketing, so their team works hard to understand businesses and industry dynamics. Then a tailor-made strategy is developed that shares each business’ story in the right places, helps them stand out from the crowd and builds their brand.

Now in their fifth year, Modmacro has an award-winning team that delivers complete marketing and public relations solutions. Learn more about Modmacro web design and marketing at

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ElliptiGO Inc. Partners with the Atlanta Track Club to Provide New Training Opportunities to the Local Running Community

San Diego, Calif. (PRWEB) October 31, 2014

ElliptiGO Inc., creators of the world’s first elliptical cycle, today announced their partnership with Atlanta Track Club (ATC), the second largest running organization in the U.S. Eight new ATC-branded ElliptiGOs are now available for their members to check out, take home, and use as needed. In addition, the ATC will be using the ElliptiGOs to pace various events throughout the year and will have them present at post-race expos and award ceremonies. So far, ElliptiGOs were used as pace vehicles at the AJC Peachtree Road Race in July, the largest 10K in the U.S. and US 10K Championship race, as well as being on hand for pre and post-race events surrounding the Atlanta 10-Miler last weekend.

“We’re excited that this partnership has become a reality,” stated Rich Kenah, Executive Director at Atlanta Track Club. “A fun and effective cross-training tool like the ElliptiGO will be of great value to our runners, so we’re very pleased to offer this as a benefit to our members. Our hope is that by giving them easy access to a low-impact, running-like workout, our runners will integrate more cross-training into their training programs. More cross-training can help our members stay injury-free, improve their performance, and maximize their potential.”

With this partnership, the Atlanta Track Club joins a growing list of clubs and teams that use the ElliptiGO with their athletes, including the Oregon Track Club Elite, the Brooks Beasts, Stanford University, and UC Berkeley.

“We’re thrilled to support such a historic and involved track club,” stated Bryan Pate, Co-Founder and Co-President of ElliptiGO. “The leadership of the Atlanta Track Club is first-class and sees the value in providing the latest and most innovative form of training to their members. We look forward to extending the running life of ATC members so that they can achieve their performance goals and remain an active part of that great community for years to come.”

For more information and to reserve one of the ATC ElliptiGOs, contact Sue Payne: sue(at)atlantatrackclub(dot)com. For more information about ElliptiGO and its products, visit or follow them on Twitter @elliptigo and Facebook at

About Atlanta Track Club

Atlanta Track Club is a member-based nonprofit centered around running. Atlanta Track Club is committed to creating an active and healthy Atlanta through world-class events, training programs, and community outreach activities. Today, Atlanta Track Club puts on over 30 events a year throughout the Atlanta area, including the AJC Peachtree Road Race, Atlanta 10-Miler and the Atlanta Half Marathon. With more than 21,000 members, Atlanta Track Club is the second largest running organization in the United States.

About ElliptiGO

ElliptiGO, Inc. is the San Diego-based company that created the world’s first outdoor elliptical bicycle. Combining the best of running, cycling and the elliptical trainer, the ElliptiGO® delivers a high-performance workout experience that closely mimics running outdoors while eliminating the impact. Comfortable and easy to ride, elliptical biking is an effective way to build cardiovascular fitness without aggravating injuries and is great for everyone from the weekend warrior to the elite athlete. More than a dozen Olympians, 25 Universities, and 100 professional athletes are leveraging the ElliptiGO to get a cardio workout in without the jarring impact of running or the discomfort of sitting on a traditional bicycle. It’s the most fun and efficient way to get outside and be active. The full line of ElliptiGOs is available for purchase at select retailers nationwide and through the company’s website:


Life Fitness Partners with MyFitnessPal

Rosemont, IL (PRWEB) October 29, 2014

Life Fitness, global leader in fitness equipment manufacturing, today announced that the more than 65 million users of the popular MyFitnessPal app can sync with Life Fitness exercise equipment to track their calories burned while using the machines. Exercisers can now connect their free Life Fitness LFconnect account to their MyFitnessPal account.

This new integration allows MyFitnessPal users to accurately track calories burned during workouts on Life Fitness equipment by automatically transferring their data into the MyFitnessPal app. Life Fitness boasts accurate calories burned measurements based on height, weight and workout intensity, meaning app users no longer have to guess how many calories they have burned, or manually enter data into the app.

“Our partnership with MyFitnessPal is a natural fit,” said Amad Amin, senior product manager of technology at Life Fitness. “As one of the top 10 health and fitness apps, MyFitnessPal provides an easy-to-use digital solution that helps users get and stay fit. We have the same goal at Life Fitness, and as the forerunner in fitness equipment technology solutions, our partnership with this leading app lets us equip exercisers with intuitive tools to track their health and fitness goals.”

The collaboration with MyFitnessPal further expands the Life Fitness portfolio of sync-able health and fitness apps, which is made possible through the Android-based LFopen™ platform, the fitness industry’s first truly open API (Application Programming Interface). For a list of apps compatible with Life Fitness equipment, visit

About Life Fitness

Life Fitness is the global leader in commercial fitness equipment. The company manufactures and sells strength and cardiovascular equipment under the brand names Life Fitness and Hammer Strength and distributes its equipment in more than 120 countries. Headquartered outside Chicago, in Rosemont, Ill., Life Fitness is a division of Brunswick Corporation. For more information, visit

About MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal has helped more than 65 million people achieve and maintain a healthier and happier lifestyle. With a database of nearly 4 million foods and hundreds of exercises, top fitness technology partners and community insights, MyFitnessPal is the leading free resource for achieving and maintaining health goals. MyFitnessPal is headquartered in San Francisco, CA. For more inspiration, visit

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Partners with UC Davis to Personalize Cancer Medications

Livermore, California (PRWEB) October 16, 2014

Buoyed by several dramatic advances, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists think they can tackle biological science in a way that couldn’t be done before.

Over the past two years, Lab researchers have expedited accelerator mass spectrometer sample preparation and analysis time from days to minutes and moved a complex scientific process requiring accelerator physicists into routine laboratory usage.

Ken Turtletaub, the leader of the Lab’s Biosciences and Biotechnology Division, sees the bio AMS advances as allowing researchers to undertake quantitative assessments of complex biological pathways.

“We are hopeful that we’ll be able to quantify the individual steps in a metabolic pathway and be able to measure indicators of disease processes and factors important to why people differ in responses to therapeutics, to diet and other factors,” Turteltaub said.

Graham Bench, the director of the Lab’s Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, anticipates the upgrades will enable Lab researchers “to produce high-density data sets and tackle novel biomedical problems that in the past couldn’t be addressed.”

Ted Ognibene, a chemist who has worked on AMS for 15 years and who co-developed the technique that accommodates liquid samples, also envisions new scientific work coming forth.

“We previously had the capability to detect metabolites, but now with the ability to see our results almost immediately for a fraction of the cost, it’s going to enable a lot more fundamental and new science to be done,” Ognibene said.    

Biological AMS is a technique in which carbon-14 is used as a tag to study with extreme precision and sensitivity complex biological processes, such as cancer, molecular damage, drug and toxin behavior, nutrition and other areas.

Among the biomedical studies that will be funded through the five-year, $ 7.8 million National Institutes of Health grant for biological AMS work is one to try to develop a test to predict how people will respond to chemotherapeutic drugs.

Another research project seeks to create an assay that is so sensitive that it can detect one cancer cell among one million healthy cells. If this work is successful, it could be possible to evaluate the metastasis potential of different primary human cancer cells.

Lab biomedical scientist Mike Malfatti and two researchers – Paul Henderson, an associate professor, and Chong-Xian Pan, a medical oncologist — from the University of California, Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, are using the AMS in a human trial with 50 patients to see how cancer patients respond or don’t respond to the chemotherapeutic drug carboplatin. This drug kills cancer cells by binding to DNA, and is toxic to rapidly dividing cells.

The three researchers have the patients take a microdose of carboplatin — about 1/100th of a therapeutic dose — that has no toxicity or therapeutic value to evaluate how effectively the drug will bind to a person’s DNA during full dose treatment.

Within a few days of patients receiving the microdose, the degree of drug binding is checked by blood sample, in which the DNA is isolated from white blood cells, or by tumor biopsy, in which the DNA is isolated from the tumor cells.

The carboplatin dose is prepared with a carbon-14 tag. The DNA sample is analyzed using AMS and the instrument quantifies the carbon-14 level, with a high level of carbon-14 indicating a high level of drug binding to the DNA.

“A high degree of binding indicates that you have a high probability of a favorable response to the drug,” Malfatti said. “Conversely, a low degree of binding means it is likely the person’s body won’t respond to the treatment.

“If we can identify which people will respond to which chemotherapeutic drug, we can tailor the treatment to the individual.

“There are many negative side effects associated with chemotherapy, such as nausea, loss of appetite, loss of hair and even death. We don’t want someone to receive chemotherapy that’s not going to help them, yet leave them with these negative side effects,” he added.

Malfatti, Henderson and Pan also are using the AMS in pre-clinical studies to investigate the resistance or receptivity of other commonly used chemotherapeutic agents such as cisplatin, oxaliplatin and gemcitabine.

Another team of researchers, led by Gaby Loots, a Lab biomedical scientist and an associate professor at the University of California, Merced, wants to use AMS to measure cancer cells labeled with carbon-14 to study the cancer cells’ migration to healthy tissues to determine how likely they are to form metastatic tumors.

While today’s standard methods can detect tumors that are comprised of thousands of cells, the team would like to develop an assay with a thousand-fold better resolution – to detect one cancer cell among one million healthy ones.

“The sensitivity of AMS allows us to develop more accurate, quantitative assays with single-cell resolution. Is the cancer completely gone, or do we see one cell worth of cancer DNA?” Loots noted.

Some of the questions the team would like to answer are: 1) why certain cells metastasize? 2) how do cells metastasize? 3) what new methods can be developed to prevent metastasis?

“Tumors shed cells all the time that enter our circulation. We would like to find ways to prevent the circulating tumor cells from forming metastatic tumors,” Loots continued.

As a part of their research, the team members hope to determine whether cancer cells with stem-cell-like properties form more aggressive tumors.

“We’re going to separate the cancer cells into stem-cell-like and non-stem-cell-like populations and seek to determine if they behave differently,” said Loots, who is working with fellow Lab biomedical scientists Nick Hum and Nicole Collette.

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