Nina Rojas Research Group

We have had a variety of research interests over the years, but we are currently focusing on molecular markers for disease and therapy.

Initial Pilot Study
 
Urine, a plasma ultrafiltrate, contains a good representation of proteins found in the blood, although the total protein concentration in urine is 1000-fold lower than that of the plasma.  Urine proteomics can lead to biomarker discovery for diagnostic and prognostic applications.  The relative ease and non-invasive sampling requirement of urine make this an ideal sample for these applications.  Profiling of proteins found in urine is the initial step in biomarker discovery.  Among the various techniques in protein profiling, two-dimensional (2D) gel electrophoresis provides unrivaled protein resolution.  In this method, proteins are first separated by the differences in isoelectric points and then by variations in molecular weights.  
 
2D gels of urine samples from 18 male and 18 female volunteers with age range of 18-57 were generated.  The gels indicate more pronounced differences in the protein profiles according to gender than age differences. New protein spots are also seen which do not seem to match those reported in current literature.
 
We plan to use these results for comparison with urine profiles of patients with renal and other diseases.
 
This work was funded under a Loyola Schools Scholarly Work Grant of the Ateneo de Manila University to Dr. Fabian M. Dayrit and Dr. Nina Rosario L. Rojas on NMR and 2-D Electrophoresis Profiling of Urine from Healthy Subjects. 
Other Areas
 
We are interested in markers for drug resistance in cancer. Our initial targets are the ABC transporter ABCG2 and the nucleotide excision repair enzyme ERCC1, which we plan to profile in archive samples of tumor tissue.
Contact information and publications related to the group can be found at the profile page of Dr. Nina Rojas.