A number of independent labs function within the TMP Labs; each complimenting the functions of the other, equipped with the latest technology and highly trained technical staff.
The TMP Forensic Toxicology Lab provides forensic analysis services to government and private institutions that require evidence in medical and legal investigations of poisoning and drug use. This involves the use of various instrumentation techniques to provide evidence of a toxic effect or symptom; as such this is regarded as a useful approach in solving medical issues and determining illegal drug use. We use various methodologies to evaluate toxic substances in different biological sample types, including blood, hair, tissue, saliva and urine. The Lab is also equipped to provide trace analysis of environmental and food contaminants in other matrices such as water, food, soil, sediments and air. As food safety and security are issues of global concern, TMP-ADLQ is committed in providing services that require high-end instrumentation with excellent sensitivity and specificity, thereby playing a key role in finding solutions to existing and future problems.
Molecular and Cellular Toxicology
Environmental toxicants/cellular stressors have diverse effects on biological systems in the development and progression of numerous diseases. They trigger proteomic responses to small molecules and mitochondrial responses to toxic insults; they affect cellular proliferation and redox balance; they alter cellular signaling pathways and deregulate gene expression. Our experimental approaches at TMP Molecular and Cellular Toxicology Lab include, understanding the underlying mechanisms of action for both small and large molecules and determining specificity and selectivity of either toxic or potential beneficial effects. Our focal molecular and cellular research areas include environmentally related human diseases, oxidative stress related toxicity and healthy aging research aimed at reducing the effect of environmental toxicants/cellular stressors on health risk and identifying novel bioactive compounds followed by the development of therapeutic approaches.
Environmental Toxicology & Industrial Hygiene
There is a critical need for industries to improve the management of their worker’s occupational health and safety. This can best be accomplished through occupational hygiene intervention in the workplace, to assess, evaluate, and eliminate any chemical, biological and radiological agents that may be causing or contributing to occupational diseases. In the current industrialized setting, comprehensive Industrial Hygiene Analysis is the key to helping Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) professionals manage and reduce the risk of chemical exposures in the workplace. Industrial Hygiene services have increasingly gained momentum as the region becomes more industrialized, especially in the oil and gas sector where workers’ safety and environmental protection have become requisite factors for regulation. The industrial hygiene analyses at TMP Labs employ sensitive and sophisticated analytical instrumentation and highly trained laboratory staff to identify and quantify chemicals in the industrial environment that may put employee health at risk. Our full-fledged industrial hygiene services include consulting, sampling, training and analytical services for testing of chemicals in the workplace. Today, effective monitoring and control of chemical exposure in the workplace is critical to businesses in order to meet and maintain compliance requirements nationally and internationally. At TMP-ADLQ, we are committed to helping industries fulfill this critical requirement.
Natural Products & Drug Discovery
ADLQ, through the TMP Labs, is developing high throughput protocols for the identification and characterization of natural products with potential medicinal value through the use of UHPLC coupled with high resolution accurate mass (HRAM) instruments providing structure elucidation with MS/MS approaches. The project will identify organisms from terrestrial or marine sources for extensive analysis of small and large chemical entities/peptides that may add value in healthcare. Our search for new therapeutics is focused on plant species used in traditional medicine, although the development of specific and sensitive bioassays and other efficient methodologies for the isolation and structure determination of bioactive constituents has facilitated the high throughput screening of the enormous molecular diversity found in plants, microorganisms and animals. The study of natural products and their applications in the improvement of health is a core area of our study. We are committed to using our available technology to fully exploit the potential applications of biodiversity for the benefit of the community.
At TMP-ADLQ, we are dedicated to addressing environmental issues affecting the nation and the region. This includes the determination of organic and inorganic chemical entities that threaten the environment as well as those that affect human health. Data from these analyses will provide the basis for further monitoring and research, where results may be used to form guidelines and policies for the country. The Elemental Analysis Lab has the complete set of tools to assess toxic elements that are introduced into the environment through human activity and high-tech industries. Water quality determination is the simplest attempt at monitoring environmental pollution. Through these services, we assist the government and private sector in ensuring a safe environment for the community.
Protein Sequencing Lab
TMP-ADLQ has established a protein preparation workflow that encompasses protein extraction and purification; protein separation using 1-D, 2-D gels and gel-free systems; gel imaging, protein digestion, analysis and identification. At the Protein Sequencing Lab, we have a number of mass spectrometry platforms dedicated to the analysis of proteins and peptides as well as bioinformatics workflows for protein identification. The MALDI-TOF/TOF is designed for protein and peptide mass fingerprinting and identification while the MALDI-QIT/TOF is used for identification of glycosylated proteins and peptides. Equipped with the Automated Glycan Analysis (AGA) software, the instrument will identify all associated glycans in proteins, making it the ideal equipment for quality assurance analysis as well as protein characterization and identification for the determination of post-translational modifications in proteome research. The TMP Labs are also equipped with highly sensitive, high resolution and accurate mass instruments (Orbitrap Elite and Fusion systems and the QExactive) attached to nanoflow LC systems that allows analysis of low abundance peptides in complex matrices, thus making it possible to conduct comprehensive proteomics and metabolomics workflows. Through these platforms, we have facilitated proteomics research in an unprecedented manner and speed.
Trace Organic Analysis Lab
Food safety and security are issues of global concern; owing to the rising global food quality and safety concerns. At TMP-ADLQ, we have established testing protocols for feed and food contaminants, drug residues and additives to ensure safety of food from farm-to-table. We play a significant role in providing services that require high-end instruments with excellent sensitivity as well as expertise that can provide solutions to existing and future problems. Our trace organic analysis lab is equipped with High Resolution Instruments that provide parts-per-trillion detection of toxic food and environmental contaminants such as the Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins and Dibenzofurans (PCDDs/PCDFs). Monitoring human exposure through food and the environment to these toxic compounds that bioaccumulate is considered a critical step for reducing public exposure. As these substances are ubiquitous, reducing their human intake is of paramount importance in maintaining public health in the country. In addition, Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometers provide analysis for authenticity verification of foodstuffs to reveal the source of food origin and counterfeit detection in the food industry. The protocol can also be used to develop a database of food items that can be used to benchmark quality products.
At TMP-ADLQ, we conduct the complete proteome characterization workflow, incorporating sample preparation, fractionation, digestion and identification by nanoflow LC ESI MS and MS/MS as well as MALDI MS and MS/MS with database search and de-novo sequencing. Inclusive of bioactive peptide identification, quantification and differential expression as well as post-translational modifications, the process has been very effective in creating workflows for proteomics, metabolomics and lipidomics. Protein biomarker discovery for early diagnosis in diabetes; cancer or heart disease, protein expression differences between well and diseased patient cohorts; disease markers for early diagnostic potential, validation of putative biomarkers and subsequent quantification among diseased and control patient cohorts, are among the capabilities of the TMP OMICS Lab. Proteomics also complements other functional genomics approaches, including microarray-based expression profiles, systematic phenotypic profiles at the cell and organism level, systematic genetics and small-molecule-based arrays. The integration of these data sets through bioinformatics will yield a comprehensive database of gene function that will serve as a powerful reference for protein properties and functions apart from being a useful tool for the individual researcher to both build and test hypotheses.
Clinical Mass Spectrometry Lab
With several approaches in Mass Spectrometry techniques and instrumentation, TMP-ADLQ is in a position to provide various solutions in clinical diagnostics and clinical toxicology to serve the needs of the patient and the medical profession. Mass Spectrometry for targeted protein identification and quantification is fast gaining acceptance in the clinical arena and a number of protocols using high-end mass spectrometers can be developed for purposes of monitoring patient condition based on the levels of protein in blood or urine. It will address the cross-reactivity in ELISA assays, eliminating the uncertainty and ambiguity of results, providing higher specificity on a multianalyte testing of biological samples; this applies for both small molecules and protein biologicals. Our state-of-the-art mass spectrometers can be used to conduct bioavailability and bioequivalency studies for health authorities in the light that increasingly numerous generic drugs have been introduced into the region. The facility is designed to attract contract research projects in the interest of ensuring safe medical care and drug efficacy for the local population. Determination of adulterants in herbal remedies is also an area of concern as these may be laced with unwanted, undeclared corticosteroids and pharmaceuticals.