June 2014

Leading commentary on molecular diagnostics edited by LGC expert

The application of molecular technology in clinical diagnosis is a rapidly developing area and is predicted to greatly improve the speed, efficiency and accuracy of diagnostic medicine.
A book looking at the challenges within molecular diagnostics, “Molecular Diagnostics: Current Research and Applications”, edited by Dr Jim Huggett and Dr Justin O’Grady, is published this month by Caister Academic Press. It is essential reading for anyone involved in the development or application of molecular diagnostics and is recommended for all clinical diagnostics laboratories.
The Science Leader for Nucleic Acid Metrology Research within the Molecular Biology group at LGC, Dr Huggett said, “This book is aimed at those who are using (or plan to use) molecular biological methods to identify potential diagnostic or prognostic biomarkers, those who plan to translate such methods to the bedside and those who are generally interested in some of the challenges and considerations associated with molecular diagnostics. For me, one of the key issues within molecular diagnostics is reproducibility. We need to encourage data comparability and transparency across the scientific community to increase the robustness and reliability of results and to reduce measurement uncertainty. Confidence in the accuracy of results is paramount.”
Dr O’Grady, Lecturer in Medical Microbiology at the University of East Anglia, said, “Since the development of PCR over 30 years ago, molecular methodology promised to become the future of disease prediction and diagnosis. It is only recently that this is becoming a reality. Jim and I collected the experiences of a number of experts from industry and academia to give an overview of the current technologies, methodologies, applications and regulatory landscape. They also provide some insights into past mistakes and likely future directions in the field. This book is an excellent resource for those interested, or currently working, in molecular diagnostics from clinical, academic and industry backgrounds”
“Molecular Diagnostics: Current Research and Applications” brings together a collection of chapters that discuss two key molecular diagnostic areas: cancer and infectious diseases. The cancer section deals with the challenges in identifying genetic, epigenetic and transcriptomic biomarkers. The infectious disease section describes the current clinical applications of molecular diagnostics for the detection of viral, bacterial and fungal pathogens as well as an example of the use of molecular diagnostics outside the clinical environment. A third section “Bench to bedside” details new and emerging point-of-care technologies and the regulatory processes and hurdles involved in translating molecular diagnostics research into diagnostics products. Finally, in section four, some insight into the future molecular diagnostics landscape is provided.
Speaking at a workshop he organised jointly with Great Ormond Street Hospital, to explore the use of NGS for the detection of human infectious disease, Dr Huggett continued, “Our work at LGC put me in a great place to select and edit the chapters for the book. LGC’s core value is ‘Science for a Safer World’ and the subjects outlined in the book underpins this - focussing on some of the practical issues involved in applying molecular methods while also giving a lot of attention to how preclinical research can be translated to really impact on patient care.”
“Molecular Diagnostics: Current Research and Applications” is a follow-up to "Real-Time PCR: Advanced Technologies and Applications” and "Next-generation Sequencing: Current Technologies and Applications", also published by Caister Academic Press. See www.caister.com
Molecular Diagnostics: Current Research and Applications (Horizon Scientific Press)
Edited by Jim Huggett (LGC) and Justin O'Grady (University of East Anglia) is available now.
Hardback: ISBN 978-1-908230-41-6
Ebook: ISBN 978-1-908230-64-5