CARAMBA is an abbreviation for Clinical Analysis & Research Applying Mass spectrometry and Bioinformatics at Akademiska.
In collaboration between Dept. Medical Sciences (Assoc. Prof. Kim Kultima) and the Section of Clinical Chemistry and Pharmacology, Uppsala University Hospital (Torbjörn Åkerfeldt, MD, Medical head) a top-of-the-line high-resolution mass spectrometry laboratory has been established for research purposes and for use in routine analyses of patient samples. The laboratory is located in a new climate controlled room exclusively built for this activity in the facilities of Clinical Chemistry and Pharmacology. The laboratory is certified by SWEDAC (SS-EN ISO 15189) enabling it to deliver results on patient samples for clinical care. The aim of this joint initiative is to perform world-class pre-clinical and clinical research targeting endogenous and exogenous molecules (proteins, peptides, hormones and drugs) with the overall goal to improve human health care and disease prevention. This aim also includes implementing state-of-the-art as well as novel mass spectrometry and bioinformatics based methods for use in routine clinical applications. Examples of research areas and collaborative efforts are:
Exogenous substances: Based on clinical needs we develop highly sensitive methods for measuring exogenous substances, such as drugs and potential environmental contaminants, in human blood and CSF samples. After clinical validation in house we transfer these methods to be implemented into routine applications to improve health care.
Clinical Metabolomics & proteomics: We have developed and implemented mass spectrometry based methods for metabolomics and proteomics, including targeted and untargeted analyses of hormones, lipids and small signaling molecules in human CSF and in vitro cell cultures. We are currently involved in three large efforts; characterization and prediction of in vitro cell toxicity of exogenous substances (such as environmental contaminants and cancer drugs), better diagnostic markers for chronic pain states and early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. We are also part of the newly launched EU Horizon 2020 project "PhenoMeNal" with focus on implementing clinical metablomics into the clinic.
Neuropeptidomics: We have developed methods for analyses of endogenously expressed neuropeptides in vivo and in vitro. These efforts include identifying novel targets for treatment of chronic pain states in humans and better understanding of neurological effects caused by environmental contaminants.
Drug discovery and development: In collaboration with the SciLifeLab Drug Discovery and Development (DDD) platform we are running a pilot project aimed at establishing standardized protocols for metabolic and proteomic profiling of drug candidate effects in different in vitro cell based model systems.