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How St. John's University Accelerated their Cancer Research

11 January 2019

"How can I take a two hour purification using old-school chromatography, and shorten it?" was the question Dr. Aaron Muth at St. John's University in New York asked himself. "By using the Biotage Isolera, I could take it down to 10 or 15 minutes."


As an Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, Dr. Muth and the members of his research group use Biotage equipment every day. He offered us some of his time to expand on his work in cancer research, students, and the needs related to tools and equipment.

"We are interested in developing small molecules that can be used in the treatment of certain cancers. Specifically, we are looking at specific protein-protein interactions, which control cell growth, proliferation, metastasis, all things cancer related."

He heard about the Isolera™ flash purification system by word of mouth. 

"I had already heard about others’ experience with the Biotage Isolera so I knew we needed to get one of those in the lab. We were updating the labs and the Isolera was one of the first things I requested. I knew it was easy to use and would be great for purifying our lengthy peptides. After that, we discussed adding the Initiator+ Alstra to complement the Isolera. What a huge difference from using manual processes, it’s so much more productive.”


Dr. Aaron Muth and his Biotage® Initiator+ Alstra™ peptide synthesizer. 

For Dr. Muth and his students, the investment has already payed off in terms of productivity. 

"They can make more peptides more quickly and find something that works for their research, rather than crossing their fingers, saying a silent prayer and hoping the one they make over the next month works out. Instead, they can make a bunch of peptides, which is extremely helpful for them.”

And with effective support from Biotage application scientists, it didn't take them long to get the hang of how to use the new tools. 

"Using flash chromatography for peptide purification is a new approach to me. However, a little learning curve is a great teaching tool for students. We also took advantage of Elizabeth Denton’s webinars  and blogs. It probably reduced the time to get productive from a month of figuring it out, to maybe a few days or a week. I spoke with Elizabeth, who is fantastic, and she helped us out a great deal in the beginning. Luckily, since the Isolera and Alstra are both easy to use, it doesn’t take the students long to learn how to use the equipment.” 


Dr. Muth and some of his students in the laboratory at St. John's University. 

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