Analytical instrument and equipment maker Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. of Waltham, Mass., today announced an alliance with George Mason University in Fairvax, Va., to accelerate protein biomarker validation. Biomarkers are biochemical features or facets that can signal the progression or risk of disease, as well as the potential effectiveness of certain treatments. Under the agreement, Thermo Fisher's Biomarker Research Initiatives in Mass Spectrometry (Brims) Center and George Mason's Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine (CAPMM) will use Thermo Scientific's Quantum Ultra triple quadrupole mass spectrometers to analyze assays, culling through cancer biomarkers and validating the most promising. After a newly discovered biomarker has been validated in the CAPMM lab in Manassas, Va., it will be sent to the Brims lab in Boston for independent validation. "Biomarker validation and verification are the chief bottlenecks in the entire research community. Our work with Thermo Fisher Scientific can enable the development of workflows and methods that will ease, if not possibly eliminate, this challenge altogether," said Dr. Lance Liotta, professor of life sciences at George Mason and co-director of CAPMM.