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Liotta, Lance A.

Lance A. Liotta, MD PhD
University Professor
Co-Director Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine
Medical Director Clinical Proteomics Lab
College of Science
George Mason University
Manassas, Virginia 

Shedding of urinary tick pathogen-specific proteins in patients with tick borne diseases

Dr. Liotta is a University Professor in the College of Science, George Mason University. He received the MD and PhD (Bioengineering) from Case Western Reserve University, and fulfilled his residency at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where he initiated a research program that, to date, has yielded more than 700 publications (Highly Cited Investigator), and more than 100 issued or allowed patents. At NIH Dr. Liotta was Chief, Laboratory of Pathology, Chief, Section of Tumor Invasion and Metastasis, and Deputy Director of NIH under NIH Director Bernadine Healy. He and Dr. Emanuel Petricoin of the FDA set up the first NIH/FDA Clinical Proteomics Program. In 2005 Mason recruited Dr. Liotta, and Dr. Petricoin (co-Directors), and their distinguished scientific team, to create the Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine (CAPMM). The Mission of CAPMM is to discover disease mechanisms, invent new technologies, educate the scientists of the future, and translate knowledge to help patients through prevention, early detection, and treatment. Dr. Liotta has invented and patented, along with his laboratory co-inventors, high-impact technologies in the fields of diagnostics; microdissection (Laser Capture Microdissection), and proteomics (Reverse Phase Protein Microarrays, Biomarker Harvesting Nanoparticles, Preservation chemistries tissue, and Protein Painting to discover drug targets), that have been used to make broad discoveries. The Laser Capture Microdissection prototype is in the Smithsonian Collection.The CAPMM team applies these technologies, for example, to markers for early stage disease, accurate diagnosis of Tuberculosis and Lyme disease (Dr. Alessandra Luchini), individualized therapy for primary and metastatic cancer (Dr. Mariaelena Pierobon, Dr. Julia Wulfkuhle), therapy of premalignant breast cancer as a strategy for prevention (Dr. Virginia Espina), and anaccredited CAP/CLIA diagnostic lab for patient testing. Dr. Liotta has received numerous scientific awards, including election to AIBME Fellows status, the Arthur S. Flemming Award, the NIH Award of Merit, the Surgeon General’s Medallion, and the 2015 Virginia SHEV award for Research and Scholarship.


Conference Lecture Summary

Post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS) defines a subset of patients who experience persistent symptoms following antibiotic therapy. The cause of PTLDS, and the appropriate treatment, is highly controversial because direct molecular evidence of pathogen persistence has not previously existed.We utilized mass spectrometry enhanced by nanotechnology to study pathogen-specific proteins shed in the urine of acute Lyme and PTLDS patients (analytical sensitivity = 2.5 pg/mL in urine). We analyzed 415 urine samples comprising 1) acute Lyme disease (LD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definition), 2) PTLDS patients defined according to the Infectious Disease Society of America guidelines, 3) diseased negatives (tuberculosis and HIV), and 4) healthy controls. Our target pathogens were BorreliaBabesiaAnaplasmaRickettsiaEhrlichiaBartonella, Francisella, Powassan virus, encephalitis virus, and Colorado tick fever virus. Specificity was ensured by a 3-tier authentication algorithm requiring 100% amino acid sequence identity with tick-pathogen proteins, evolutionary taxonomic verification for related pathogens, and lack of overlap with human or other organisms.

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This activity is supported by independent educational grants from:

Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation

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IGeneX Inc.


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