Bioanalysis Rising Star Award finalist: Zhuo Chen

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Nominated by: John T Mehl, PhD, GSK (PA, USA)

Supporting comments:

“Zhuo has established himself as an emerging leader in the field of bioanalysis. From the very start of his GSK career, he demonstrated a high degree of innovation that is broad in scope. An early success was establishment of HRMS as a platform for improved sensitivity and selectivity for low-level peptide quantification. This research has impacted several programs at GSK and has been recognized outside of GSK through publication of a Bioanalysis Zone Spotlight. Zhuo has significantly expanded the applicability of native protein LC−MS through innovative use of commercial instrumentation, rather than customized instrumentation. This makes it more practical for laboratories to investigate native proteins and noncovalent complexes. A key to Zhuo’s success is scientific leadership and perseverance in the face of adversity. Due to travel constraints during the current pandemic, Zhuo was unable to return to the US for several months following a trip home to China. Zhuo quickly shifted focus and worked on clinical program support with CRO partners in China. Further, he published in Bioanalysis, safety recommendations for handing clinical samples containing coronavirus. Zhuo has presented at scientific conferences and been recognized by awards from GSK, Brown and Peking Universities. Zhuo is a prolific and highly regarded bioanalyst with a very bright future.

Describe the main highlights of your bioanalytical work.

My research field during my PhD at Brown University was mass spectrometry-based proteomics. After graduating from Brown University in 2016, I joined GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) as a GSK/Waters joint postdoctoral fellow. In the department of Bioanalysis, Immunogenicity and Biomarkers (BIB), my work focused on developing analytical platforms to provide fast, sensitive, and specific quantitation of protein-based drugs and biomarkers. I was particularly interested in establishing a robust and accurate multiplex method to quantify biomarkers and various isoforms, to better stratify patients and understand target engagement. The developed platform, based on Waters microflow UPLC and high-resolution mass spectrometry, was published and highlighted in a Bioanalysis Zone 2019 Q4 spotlight on HRMS in DMPK. Since switching to a full-time GSK employee of BIB in 2017, I have continued investigating exploratory biomarkers and took responsibility for supporting GLP-regulated PK/PD assays. By processing various specimen types and analyzing targets ranging from small molecule, peptides, intact and native proteins, I have continued to expand my bioanalytical expertise. My research enables GSK drug discovery and clinical study teams to make critical decisions regarding program progression. I have published five bioanalytical papers since 2019 and delivered oral presentations at ASMS and CPSA annual conferences.

[Video edit by Luke Maberly]

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