Thesis Defense Announcement
To:  The George Mason University Community

Candidate: Monique Hunter
Program: M.S. in Biology
Date:   Wednesday July 29, 2015 
Time:   3:00 PM
Place:  George Mason University
Science & Tech (Prince William) Campus
             Occoquan Bldg., Room 110-A           
Title: "Identification of Potential Tuberculosis Biomarkers using Combination of Nanotrap Particles and Mass Spectrometry"

Thesis Director: Dr. Monique van Hoek

Thesis Committee: Dr. Kylene Kehn-Hall, Dr. Serguei Popov 
A copy of the thesis will be available in the Mercer Library.  All are invited to attend the defense.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), the etiological agent of tuberculosis, is still a major public health problem despite the tremendous effort to eradicate it. The unique dynamism between the host and the bacilli leads to a wide spectrum of clinical outcomes, hindering the discovery of specific biomarkers. Many scientists concur that a set of consistent tuberculosis (TB) biomarkers would result into more sensitive and specific diagnostic tests. In recent years, Nanotrap particle technology has been used in early cancer biomarkers discovery, in the detection of Lyme disease and Chagas disease. In this study, we evaluated the ability of Nanotrap particles to capture potential TB biomarkers from M. tuberculosis culture filtrate proteins (CFP). The CFP is rich in many highly immunogenic secreted proteins that have been extensively investigated either in pulmonary or extrapulmonary TB. We demonstrated that Nanotrap particles, especially Cibacron Blue (CB) core particles, captured a wide variety of secreted proteins and enhanced the detection of others that were previously undetectable by mass spectrometry. Furthermore, the CB core beads concurrently bound HIV antigen p24 and some of the proteins contained in MTB culture filtrate. These findings suggest that Nanotrap particles could be useful in capturing and validating a panel of potential TB biomarkers, as well as HIV biomarkers in urine from tuberculosis patients.