Over Biomarkers


Avondlezing door prof.dr. Rainer P.H. Bischoff georganiseerd door de Groningse Chemische Kring.

The discovery and validation of biomarkers is a complex process requiring the integration of expertise from clinical science, analytical science and data science. Many biomarker discovery projects fail at the level of validation, as sensitivity and specificity decrease when translating discovery results into the more diverse settings of the ''real world''. (1)
After introducing some basic concepts of diagnostic and prognostic clinical tests, I will focus on the challenges in finding better diagnostic markers for complex human diseases touching upon challenges related to sampling and sample handling, analytical quality control and the handling of large data sets partially based on an example from our work related to the discovery of a set of proteins for the early diagnosis of cervical cancer. (2)
I will end by giving you an outlook into the future of personalized health and precision medicine where the integration of data from genetics, genomics, proteomics and possibly metabolomics will hopefully lead to better disease diagnosis and a better understanding of disease mechanisms. (3)

  1. Mischak et al., (2010) Recommendations for Biomarker Identification and Qualification in Clinical Proteomics. Science Translational Medicine 2, 46ps42
  2. Boichenko et al., (2014) A panel of regulated proteins in serum from patients with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and cervical cancer. Journal of Proteome Research 13, 4995-5007
  3. Bischoff et al., (2015) Genomic variability and protein species – improving sequence coverage for proteogenomics. Journal of Proteomics (in press; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jprot.2015.09.021)

Loopbaan Prof. dr. Rainer Bischof
Graduate Education
Ph.D. from the University of Göttingen, Germany in Chemistry (November 1984) with practical work performed at the Max-Planck-Institute for Experimental Medicine in Göttingen. Major topic: Development of new methods for the analysis of tRNAs and oligonucleotides using HPLC (supervisor: Dr. Larry W. McLaughlin).
Expertise: Proteomics, Chromatography, Mass spectrometry, Electrochemistry, Biopharmaceuticals, Biomarkers

Professional Career
Current Position (since January 2001)
Professor of Pharmacy at the University of Groningen, Department for Pharmacy, Analytical Biochemistry. In this position Prof. Bischoff focuses on developing novel methods for protein, peptide and metabolite analysis. He is Chair of the Department of Analytical Biochemistry (www.biomac.nl) and director of the Biomarker Development Center (BDC), an STW-funded Perspectief program (http://biomarkerdevelopmentcenter.nl/).

Previous Positions
March 1998 - January 2001, AstraZeneca R&D in Lund, Sweden in various functions, as (1) leader of the Protein Chemistry Team within the Department of Cell & Molecular Biology and (2) leader of the Target Development Section within the Department of Molecular Sciences and (3) leader of a preclinical research project in the area of inflammatory disease and immunology.
1987-1998, Transgene S.A. in Strasbourg, France in various functions as (1) research scientist with responsibility for pilot scale purification of recombinant proteins, (2) project leader for a preclinical research project concerning the use of alpha-1-antitrypsin variants, (3) leader of the Protein Analysis Group, with responsibility for protein microcharacterisation and (4) leader of a preclinical research project concerning the development of novel gene delivery systems based on synthetic molecules.
1985-1986 Purdue University, West-Lafayette, Indiana, USA. Postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Biochemistry (Prof. Fred E. Regnier).
1984-1985 Max-Planck-Institute for Experimental Medicine in Göttingen, Germany, Postdoctoral research fellow

Authored more than 200 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters . Co-inventor on 12 patents.


  • Editor in Chief of the Journal of Chromatography B
  • Editorial Board member of Advances in Precision Medicine
  • Board member of the Netherlands Proteomics Platform and of the Working Group on Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis (FABIAN) of the Royal Dutch Chemical Society.
  • Chairman of the Dutch Scientific Organization (NWO) study group on Analytical Chemistry (2008-2010).
  • Introducé(e)s zijn van harte welkom.