Expert discussion: challenges facing the modern bioanalyst


In this podcast we discuss the challenges faced by the modern bioanalyst and some of the innovative solutions that have been put into practice by scientists at Alturas Analytics (ID, USA). Taking part in this discussion and sharing their expert knowledge and insights included:

Kath_YahvahKatherine Yahvah, PhD Katherine Yahvah is a Senior Scientist at Alturas Analytics specializing in bioanalytical method development and validation. She earned her PhD in Animal Physiology at the University of Idaho (ID, USA) in 2012 and later transitioned into the realm of clinical laboratory testing when she took a position as the Associate Director of the clinical toxicology department for Kashi Clinical Laboratories in Portland (OR, USA).  In this role she was responsible for the establishment and management of a CAP/CLIA accredited clinical laboratory using HPLC–MS/MS technology to perform confirmatory urine drug testing. In this time she spearheaded efforts for the validation of analytical methods for the measurement of over 40 analytes, including prescription medications, drugs of abuse and their pertinent metabolites. With over a decade of experience in laboratory analysis she is familiar with a wide variety of analytical techniques and has a thorough understanding of the requirements for operation in a regulated scientific environment.  

Chad CChad Christianson – Chad has 20 years of related experience as an analytical scientist with over 15 focused on bioanalysis at Alturas Analytics. This depth of experience in applied LC–MS/MS and GC–MS/MS, along with an education in chemical engineering provides the backbone for productive and innovative science. Chad leads the protein quantitation group at Alturas, applying novel techniques to a regulated, high-throughput production environment.  As a Senior Principal Scientist Chad’s primary focus is LC–MS/MS method development, validation and sample analysis for small molecule drugs and peptides in accordance with GLP guidelines. In addition to his LC-MS/MS and GC-MS/MS method development and sample analysis duties, Chad heads the LC–UV analysis, protein binding determination and antibody drug conjugate (ADC) programs at Alturas.

Micheal WMichael Williams, PhD – Michael D. Williams is a Senior Scientist at Alturas Analytics. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Chemistry from The University of Montana (MT, USA) and a PhD in Bioanalytical Chemistry from Washington State University (WA, USA). He has been at Alturas since 2015 and works directly with Alturas clients as a Principal Investigator and Study Director. Michael has extensive experience with method development, method validation, and sample analysis. Before joining Alturas, Michael was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Florida (FL, USA). Mike’s background includes the use of LC–MS/MS and ion mobility–MS (IMMS) in targeted and non-targeted metabolomics studies for biomarker discovery.


The three experts addressed and discussed the following questions:

1. Could you please introduce yourselves and your work? [Time – 00:33]

2. Sensitivity, selectivity and sample preparation time are commonly brought up as challenges in the field of bioanalysis. If not addressed, what kind of impact can these have on the progress and outcome of a project? [Time – 01:36]

3. In terms of addressing these challenges, what kind of solutions have you implemented to overcome issues with sensitivity and selectivity? [Time – 04:49]

4. In some cases internal standard selection and sample preparation time can prove to be a significant challenge. When this is the case, what kind of solutions have you used to overcome this? [Time – 08:06]

5. What kind of challenges does extremely rapid metabolism of a primary drug present?
[Time – 11:26]

6. Analyte stability can be particularly challenging for the bioanalyst. What kind of modifications have you implemented to solve these issues? [Time – 16:12]