September Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Business Meeting: 6:45 PM
Technical presentation immediately following the meeting
SACP Technical Program
Dr. Livia Eberlin, University of Texas, Austin
“Chemical Measurements in Vivo: Translating the Pen Technologies for Surgical Use”
Livia Schiavinato Eberlin was born and raised in Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil. Her passion for mass spectrometry (MS) started as an undergraduate research assistant at the Thomson Laboratory of the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP). As an undergrad, she visited the Aston Laboratory at Purdue University to also pursue undergraduate research in MS. She received her B.S. in Chemistry from UNICAMP in 2007 and then moved to the USA in 2008 to start a PhD program in Analytical Chemistry at Purdue University under the mentorship of Prof. R. Graham Cooks. During her PhD, Livia developed and applied ambient ionization MS imaging to human cancer diagnosis. In recognition of her innovative PhD work, Livia received many awards including the Nobel Laureate Signature Award from the American Chemical Society. In 2012, she started her postdoctoral work at Stanford University under the guidance of Prof. Richard N. Zare, where she continued to develop MS technology for biomedical research. During that time, she received the L’Oréal for Women in Science Fellowship, a K99 pathway to independence award from the NIH/NCI, and was listed in the Forbes 30 under 30 list in Science and Healthcare. In 2016, Livia started her independent career as an Assistant Professor in the Chemistry Department at the University of Texas at Austin. Since then, Livia and her group have received several recognitions for their research. In 2018, Livia was named a Sloan Research Fellow, a Moore Inventor Fellow, and a MacArthur Fellow. Livia and her husband Nathan Sanders live in Austin with their three children, two daughters and a son.
Prof. Eberlin is passionate about research at the interface of chemistry and medicine. Her research group is focused on developing innovative mass spectrometry technologies to address critical problems in health-related research.
Conventional methods for histopathologic tissue diagnosis are labor- and time-intensive and can delay decision-making during diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. The MasSpec Pen is an automated and biocompatible handheld mass spectrometry device for rapid and nondestructive diagnosis of human cancer tissues which enables controlled and automated delivery of a discrete water droplet to a tissue surface for efficient extraction of biomolecules. We used the MasSpec Pen for ex vivo molecular analysis of 20 human cancer thin tissue sections and 253 human patient tissue samples including normal and cancerous tissues from breast, lung, thyroid, and ovary. The mass spectra obtained presented rich molecular profiles characterized by a variety of potential cancer biomarkers identified as metabolites, lipids, and proteins. Statistical classifiers built from the histologically validated molecular database allowed cancer prediction with high sensitivity (96.4%), specificity (96.2%), and overall accuracy (96.3%), as well as prediction of benign and malignant thyroid tumors and different histologic subtypes of lung cancer. Notably, our classifier allowed accurate diagnosis of cancer in marginal tumor regions presenting mixed histologic composition. The MasSpec Pen is also demonstrated to be suited for in vivo cancer diagnosis during surgery performed in tumor-bearing mouse models, without causing any observable tissue harm or stress to the animal. These results provide evidence that the MasSpec Pen could potentially be used as a clinical and intraoperative technology for ex vivo and in vivo cancer diagnosis.