biomarkers diagramArtwork by Joren Eulalee.

What are Biomarkers? 

Biomarkers are indicators of a biological state that provide a standardized, valid, and precise way of evaluating exposure, effect, or susceptibility.

How Can the Translational Biomarkers Core Facility Support My Research?

The Translational Biomarkers Core supports investigators and practitioners by providing consulting and fee-based analytical services on validated biomarker assessments pertaining to lifestyle, chronic disease, and human health.


Public Health Research Challenge: A key challenge in public health studies is to identify health disparities and to evaluate associated lifestyle behaviors and environmental exposure to a high level of validity and reliability.

How Can Biomarker Assessments Support Public Health Research? The measurement of validated biomarkers can improve the quality and reliability of observational studies and those using self-reported data on the role of lifestyle factors for impacting chronic disease and human health.

Overall Core Lab Objective: To support CAIRHE, Montana INBRE, and other MSU investigators to pursue multidisciplinary biomedical research by providing facilities, advanced instrumentation, and analytical services on validated biomarker assessments (to quantify diet, lifestyle, and chronic disease biomarkers) for more effective interventions and translational research.

What are Biomarker Studies? Biomarker studies examine the exposure, effect, or susceptibility of humans to interventions or social and environmental factors utilizing a variety of methods for a range of objectives such as detection of inflammation, oxidative stress, hormones, psychological stress, metabolic disease, growth factors, kidney toxicity, alcohol use, and nutrition analytes.

SUMMARY OF CORE LAB SERVICES (Launching Summer of 2019)

Biomarker Evaluation

  • Consulting services:  Consulting with investigators to determine suitable methods for evaluating diet, lifestyle, and chronic disease biomarkers including assessments of inflammation, oxidative stress, hormones, metabolic disease, growth factors, kidney toxicity, and alcohol use.
  • Analytical services: Quantification of biomarkers from human samples using a range of analytical methods including ELISA procedures, enzymatic assays, fluorescence, immunoassays, and chromatography.

Supporting Services

  • Sample management: Development of standard operating procedures for sample collection, processing, and temporary storage.
  • Analytical development and design: Assay validation and development of standard operating procedures for research protocols.
  • Interpretation of biomarker results: Support with interpretation of results.


The Core Lab houses state-of-the art instrumentation to enhance the research of investigators carrying out a diverse range of public health studies. Some examples of Lab instrumentation include:

Equipment Function
Bio-Plex 200 System With HTF. 100-240 V Automated Immunoassay Multiplex Array System with High-Throughput Fluidics For biomarker assessments including human cytokine, chemokine, and growth factor assays; human inflammation assays; human disease panels; human metabolic and hormone assays; and human kidney toxicity panels. 
Beckman Coulter CytoFLEX System B4-R2-V0 For multiple assessments including cell proliferation analysis, T cell subset analysis, identification of low expressed antigens, and micro-particle detection.
Waters ACQUITY Arc Systems (Dual HPLC and UPLC) with Detector For quantification of nutrients and metabolites including Vitamins A, B, C, D, E; carbohydrates (glucose, fructose, sucrose); dietary fiber; lignans; fatty acids; polyphenols; alkaloids; and terpenoids.
BioTek Dual Spectrophotometer and Fluorometer Microplate Reader For carrying out a range of reagent and cell-based bioassays including enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA).
BioTek Precision Microplate For expediting high-throughput assays.


Contact Us

Selena Ahmed, Ph.D.

Core Director;
Associate Professor in Sustainable Food Systems