Joshua LaBaer is the executive director of Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute.

Dr. LaBaer is one of the nation’s foremost investigators in the rapidly expanding field of personalized diagnostics. His efforts focus on the discovery and validation of biomarkers — unique molecular fingerprints of disease — which can provide early warning for those at risk of major illnesses, including cancer and diabetes.

Formerly founder and director of the Harvard Institute of Proteomics, LaBaer was recruited to ASU’s Biodesign Institute as the first Piper Chair in Personalized Medicine in 2009.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, LaBaer has used this proven capability to quickly repurpose existing equipment and personnel to accelerate testing. The new ASU Biodesign Clinical Testing Laboratory has developed a federally authorized diagnostic test, known commercially as qPCR to detect coronavirus for individuals who may have been exposed to the virus. This new lab gained CLIA certification for testing nasal swab samples and is the first in the state to offer and run saliva tests for coronavirus.

LaBaer earned his medical degree and a doctorate in biochemistry and biophysics, from the University of California, San Francisco.  He completed his medical residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a clinical fellowship in oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, both in Boston. He has contributed more than 150 original research publications, reviews and chapters. LaBaer is an associate editor of the Journal of Proteome Research, a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Board of Scientific Advisors, Chair of the Early Detection Research Network Steering Committee and recent president of the U.S. Human Proteome Organization. 

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