Jump to content

Biomarker and Assay Development

Biomarkers are of increasingly high importance in medicine, particularly in the realm of early disease diagnosis and 'personalized medicine'. Disease and/or therapy response specific biomarkers, particularly when they are detectable in easily accessible body fluids, are essential and most valuable tools not only in recognizing diseases already at an early stage, when treatment is most effective, but also in selecting patients for appropriate treatment at the right time and right dose and predicting disease outcome.

Our research group applies high throughput multi-omics technologies such as DNA - or protein microarrays, next generation sequencing, microfluidic quantitative PCR or multiplex bead technology not only to characterize complex diseases multidimensionally and at unparalleled resolution and thereby resolve molecular interactions and disease associated hallmarks but also and in particular to finally come up with minimally invasive diagnostic biomarkers. 
Our R&D portfolio comprises many oncological indications (colon, lung, prostate, breast, thyroid) in addition to various chronic and complex diseases (e.g. diabetes, COPD, ulcerative colitis atopic dermatitis and CVD).  Having a long-lasting experience in nucleic-acid and autoantibody-based liquid biopsy and tissue-derived biomarkers we act as technology provider and assay developer for both partners in academia and industry and support them either in nationally or EU-funded collaborative projects or along contract research.

Research offers and services

  • Biomarker Screening: Efficient detection and identification of multi-omics biomarkers (mRNA, miRNA, DNA methylation, proteins, autoantibodies) from tissue and liquid biopsy (blood, plasma, saliva, CSF, extracellular vesicles) using high-throughput technologies (DNA/protein microarrays, next generation sequencing, protein panel assays).
  • Validation of biomarkers and development of diagnostic assays: Design, establishment and application of multiplex assays, validation of biomarkers with special focus on the use of clinically suitable and cost-effective technologies (e.g. Luminex Bead assays, microfluidic qPCR).
  • Companion Diagnostics: Support of therapy studies in clinical phases (I-IV) using omics technology platforms for stratification and monitoring of patient cohorts 
  • Nucleic acid-based analyses: Application of microarrays, sequencing or high-throughput qPCR for DNA mutation, SNP, DNA methylation, mRNA, miRNA profiling including sample preparation and extraction of analytes from biological samples (e.g. DNA, RNA, protein from tissue, blood, saliva, CSF, extracellular vesicles etc.)
  • Protein analysis: Protein profiling via of ELISA-, multiplex bead- or protein panel assays (OLINK proximity extension assay technology). Plasma/serum antibody profiling using high density or targeted protein/peptide microarrays as well as targeted Luminex bead assays. 
  • Bioinformatics

Selected Projects


Better control and treatment of immune-mediated diseases by exploring the universe of micro-environment imposed tissue signatures and their corre-lates in liquid biopsies; https://www.immuniverse.eu/



Novel Combo Assay for Early Detection of Drug Induced Liver Injury; https://www.comboliverace.com/



The life cycle of extracellular vesicles in prostate cancer: from biogenesis and homing, to functional relevance; https://proevlifecycle.eu/



PrecIsion Medicine in IntravENTricular hemorrhage for Outcome prediction; https://www.wwtf.at/funding/programmes/ls/LS20-030/



Epigenetic-based Type-2-Diabetes diagnostics from saliva and blood; https://projekte.ffg.at/projekt/1359795


Selected Publications

  • Pulverer W et al. Multiplexed DNA Methylation Analysis in Colorectal Cancer Using Liquid Biopsy and Its Diagnostic and Predictive Value. Curr Issues Mol Biol. 2021
  • Gampenrieder SP et al.  DNA Methylation Signatures Predicting Bevacizumab Efficacy in Metastatic Breast Cancer. Theranostics. 2018
  • Beikircher G et al.  Multiplexed and Sensitive DNA Methylation Testing Using Methylation-Sensitive Restriction Enzymes "MSRE-qPCR". Methods Mol Biol. 2018
  • Wielscher M et al.  Diagnostic Performance of Plasma DNA Methylation Profiles in Lung Cancer, Pulmonary Fibrosis and COPD. EBioMedicine. 2015
  • Milchram L et al. Functional Analysis of Autoantibody Signatures in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Molecules. 2022
  • Hettegger P et al. High similarity of IgG antibody profiles in blood and saliva opens opportunities for saliva based serology. PLoS One. 2019
  • Luna Coronell JA et al.  The Immunome of Colon Cancer: Functional In Silico Analysis of Antigenic Proteins Deduced from IgG Microarray Profiling. Genomics Proteomics Bioinformatics. 2018
  • Hulstaert E et al. Charting Extracellular Transcriptomes in The Human Biofluid RNA Atlas. Cell Rep. 2020
  • Špilak A et al.  Implications and pitfalls for cancer diagnostics exploiting extracellular vesicles. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2021
  • Samaha E et al. Expression Profiling Suggests Loss of Surface Integrity and Failure of Regenerative Repair as Major Driving Forces for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Progression. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2021