Benchmarking Study in Spotlight at ABRF 2014

A benchmarking study on protein sequencing, designed in part through Launch MI Lab, received some valuable industry attention last month.

I had the honor of working with 6 other scientists to develop the study, which involves using mass spectrometry to identify the N-terminus of proteins—that is, the amino terminal end of a protein molecule. The ability to identify the N-terminus of proteins is important for several reasons such as characterization of therapeutic and reagent proteins, study of protein processing as it relates to protein function, and ultimately how proteins affect living cells.

My role in the study was to evaluate mass spectrometry approaches to identify the N-terminus of proteins following chemical labeling and enzymatic digestion. The resulting method was used for a benchmarking study designed at Launch MI Lab. We completed the work in 2013, and it’s generated enough excitement that I and others on the team were invited to speak at the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities (ABRF) conference in Albuquerque, held March 22-24. ABRF is an international society of core and research biotechnology laboratories. Read more ›

Posted in Current Life Science Research, News

A Heritage of Vision: Life Sciences in Michigan

Dr. Robert DeWit, president and CEO of the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center, discusses the past, present and future of life sciences in Michigan in a recent blog for Michigan Advantage. Check out his insights at this link. http://blog.michiganadvantage.org/great-companies/a-heritage-of-vision-life-sciences-in-michigan/

Posted in News

Launch MI Lab – One Year On

It’s been a little over a year since we unveiled Launch MI Lab and its two-part mission: to provide professional analytical services to the life sciences industry, and to offer low-cost lab space and equipment to entrepreneurs testing their life science ideas.

Since then, we’ve enjoyed a steady stream of clients both within and beyond southwest Michigan who recognize the quality and speed of our work, particularly in mass spectrometry. We aim to build upon that foundation in 2014. My personal vision is to see Launch MI Lab become the premier life science analytical partner for the industry.

What will that industry look like? Deloitte took a look at the trends and recently posted a report on the life sciences sector.

According to Deloitte, there’s no doubt that life sciences will continue to grow as more people gaining access to health care, the population ages and new opportunities appear through emerging markets. At the same time, financial pressures on biopharmaceutical companies are affecting investments in R&D and slowing growth.

While sobering in some respects, that report gives me cause for optimism. As the industry looks for accurate, quality, cost-effective analytical services to better manage its expenses, Launch MI Lab shines as a smart option.

Here’s to a successful 2014 for all of us!

Posted in News

A Life Science Vision Realized

Many of you may know that the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center, which Launch MI Lab calls home, turns 10 years old this year. SMIC itself was the realization of a vision by forward-thinking leaders back in the late 1990s, people who realized that the life science industry was changing. Innovation was no longer the playground of large research-based corporations alone; entrepreneurial scientists were generating their own ideas and partnering with companies and universities to bring them forth.

MLive/Kalamazoo Gazette highlighted this evolution in a two-part feature story on Independence Day, spotlighting Launch MI Lab as an extension of the life sciences vision that created SMIC. Not only does the lab serve as a catalyst for budding science-based companies, it provides important laboratory services and space for established SMIC clients and for outside companies looking for quality mass-spec and other services.

It’s exciting to be on the leading edge of a wave that formed a decade ago—and to see the great minds at work at SMIC and Launch MI Lab every day as they work on generating the innovative waves of the future.

To read the story on Launch MI Lab, click here.

Posted in Life Science Entrepreneurs, News

SMIC, Launch MI Lab Proud to Play Role In Diabetes Breakthrough by Metabolic Solutions Development Co.

KALAMAZOO, Mich. [May 15, 2013]—Breakthrough research by Metabolic Solutions Development Co., including data published today on a new drug target for type 2 diabetes, underscores the key role a quality life sciences incubator can play, according to local life science leaders.

At laboratories located in the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center (SMIC), Metabolic Solutions Development Co. (MSDC) has been investigating potential treatments for diabetes involving new kinds of insulin sensitizers that do not cause the side effects of previous forms. Data was published today in the scientific journal PLOS ONE. (See accompanying news release.) MSDC contracted with Launch MI Lab to help define the proteins involved and their mechanism of action. Read more ›

Posted in Current Life Science Research, Life Science Entrepreneurs, News Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

ABRF Protein Sequencing Committee

On March 2-5, 2013 the Association of Biomedical Resource Facilities (ABRF) held its annual conference in Palm Springs, CA. ABRF is an educational organization that supports analytical laboratories conducting biomedical research throughout the world. One important aspect of their work is designing benchmark studies and providing technical assessments for many different technologies used in biomedical research. Read more ›

Posted in Current Life Science Research Tagged with:

Dream a new dream

To paraphrase a well — known saying, you’re never too old — or too young — to set another goal or dream a new dream.

Take David Sellers. He’s a doctoral student in chemistry at Western Michigan University. A few months ago, he became only the second WMU student ever, and the first in the Chemistry Department, to receive a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Read more ›

Posted in Life Science Entrepreneurs

Announcing Launch MI Lab

New Laboratory Brings High-Tech, Low-Cost Facility and Services
to Support Next Generation of Life Science Startups
Unique Launch MI Lab Provides State-of-the-Art Equipment, Bench Space, Support

KALAMAZOO, MI – Approaching its 10-year anniversary, the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center (SMIC) has unveiled a new resource for life science startups: Launch MI Lab, a fully equipped and staffed bioscience laboratory to help startups get off the ground.
Read more ›

Posted in News