discoveries magazine

New Tools at the Innovation Center

Jennifer Van Eyk, PhD, director of the Advanced Clinical Biosystems Institute

Disease originates within a single cell—an infinitesimal universe of possibility. At Cedars-Sinai’s Board of Governors Innovation Center (BOGIC), experts are helping develop cutting-edge mass spectrometry instruments and other approaches that analyze cell behaviors—and the tens of thousands of proteins that underlie them. Investigators are exploiting rapid advances in technology to uncover new insights, including the earliest indications of cellular dysfunction.

“This is a huge breakthrough—the concordance of faster, more automated technology and our understanding of study design,” says Jennifer Van Eyk, PhD, director of the Advanced Clinical Biosystems Research Institute and the Erika J. Glazer Chair in Women’s Heart Health. “We’re learning really fast.”


This single-cell proteomics device scores the functional status of live, individual immune cells by measuring their cytokine secretion. A BOGIC group is using the IsoPlexis to support chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy.


The most sensitive mass spectrometry machine measures thousands of proteins in a single cell, elucidating their pathways and disease processes. A BOGIC team is studying proteins expressed by cardiac cells to uncover mechanisms associated with heart disease.

Echo Liquid Handler Access Laboratory Workstation

This robotic system uses supersonic sound to dispense the smallest droplets of liquid for analysis by the mass spectrometer. It creates accurate samples at only half a microliter—a volume undetectable to the eye—without sacrificing any of a cell’s proteins. The machine also allows BOGIC investigators to scale up throughput to thousands of cells a day, which is particularly useful for drug screenings.