Craig Adams, PhDResearch Associate Professor, Director of the Team Master's Project, Assistant Director Center for Biomarker Research
Areas of Expertise
Molecular Biology, Bacterial Pathogenesis, Protein Biochemistry, Homogeneous, Heterogeneous and Multiplex Immunoassay, Diagnostic Assay Development, Novel Assay Technologies
Dr. Adams grew up in Southern California and received his PhD in molecular biology and medical genetics from University of California, Irvine. After receiving his PhD, Dr. Adams worked for several years in the pharmaceutical industry (GlaxoSmithKline) on protein expression in Streptomyces lividens and mutagenesis of human a-1-anti-trypsin for potential human therapy. In 1985, Dr. Adams returned to Southern California and shifted from pharmaceutical research to medical diagnostics. During his many years at Beckman Coulter, Dr. Adams held a number of technical management roles including Director of Molecular Biology, Director of Immunochemistry Core Sciences, and Director of Global R&D for the Prion Business Center. He has management and lab experience in tissue culture, virology, pathogenic microbiology, and the cloning of markers of pathogenesis. Dr. Adams has significant expertise in recombinant protein expression in both eukaryotic and prokaryotic systems; specifically the site directed mutagenesis of human genes for pharmaceutical applications as well as the high level expression of bacterial toxins for diagnostic applications. Much of his professional career has been involved in the management of collaborative projects, including collaborations with universities and government institutions in the US and Europe. Dr. Adams has product development experience in immunochemistry utilizing recombinant protein, recombinant antibodies and in situ hybridization. From 1996-2006, Dr. Adams served as a member of the Beckman Grants Advisory Committee, which awarded young academic faculty the prestigious Beckman Young Investigators Award. In 2004, Dr. Adams was inducted into the Beckman Coulter Inventors Hall of Fame.
ALS 301: Molecular Basis of Disease
This course examines the role of genes, proteins and RNA in causing or combating diseases, and emphasizes the current conceptual and analytical tools that are brought to bear, and their limitations, on our understanding.ALS 400: Team Master's Project
The Team Master's Project (TMP) is the capstone activity for Master of Bioscience (MBS) students and for Postdoctoral Professional Masters (PPM) students. A passing grade in two semesters is required for graduation with an MBS or PPM degree.
- Selected Publications
Lawther RP, Calhoun DH, Adams CW, Hauser CA, Gray J, Hatfield GW. "Molecular-Basis of Valine Resistance in Escherichia-Coli K-12". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America-Biological Sciences 1981;78(2):922-925.
Adams CW, Hatfield GW. "Effects of Promoter Strengths and Growth-Conditions on Copy Number of Transcription Fusion Vectors". J.Biol.Chem. 1984;259(12):7399-7403.
Adams CW, Rosenberg M, Hatfield GW. "Analysis of Invivo RNA-Transcription Products of the ilvGEDA Attenuator Region of Escherichia-Coli-K12". J.Biol.Chem. 1985;260(14):8538-8544.
Fornwald JA, Schmidt FJ, Adams CW, Rosenberg M, Brawner ME. "Two Promoters, One Inducible and One Constitutive, Control Transcription of the Streptomyces-Lividans Galactose Operon". Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci.U.S.A. 1987;84(8):2130-2134.
Adams CW, Fornwald JA, Schmidt FJ, Rosenberg M, Brawner ME. "Gene Organization and Structure of the Streptomyces-Lividans Gal Operon". J.Bacteriol. 1988;170(1):203-212.
Pagel JM, Winkelman JW, Adams CW, Hatfield GW. "DNA Topology-Mediated Regulation of Transcription Initiation from the Tandem Promoters of the Ilvgmeda Operon of Escherichia-Coli". J.Mol.Biol. 1992;224(4):919-935.
Download Full Faculty Research Profile
Dr. Adams has a broad range of research interests including pathogenesis of bacterial and viral disease, bacterial toxins, and the identification and development of novel immunoassay methods. While at Beckman Coulter, Craig and his team developed the first recombinant protein based assays for the Beckman Coulter immunochemistry systems. These assays allowed for the stratification of patients at risk of developing diseases associated with Streptococcus pyogenes infections. Craig's team cloned and identified two critical antigens with proven value in monitoring rheumatic heart disease. These antigens, Streptolysin O and DNAse B, are sometimes referred to as "spreading factors" and represent enzymes involved in the spreading of infectious organisms and the development of systemic infection.
As Global R&D Director for the Prion Business Center at Beckman Coulter, Dr. Adams directed an international effort to gain regulatory approval for a novel diagnostic approach to detect bovine prion disease. In addition to these efforts, Dr. Adams has experience and a number of patents in novel DNA amplification technology, novel DNA sequencing approaches, DNA labeling and detection, and novel enzymatic substrate development.
Current Research Projects
Identification of Biomarker Panels for Diagnosis of Disease (Craig Adams, Jim Osborne): The Center for Biomarker Research is investigating the use of biomarker panels to better diagnose disease and stratify patient populations for selection of therapy. Flow cytometry is a very powerful technique for measuring multiple markers on the surface and inside of cells. Nucleic acid and protein assays can also be multiplexed in a flow cytometer by designing assays on multicolored beads. The Center is developing and validating protocols using multiplex flow cytometry to investigate biomarker panels for diseases that have good therapeutic options but are difficult to diagnose.
Systematic Study of Biomarkers of Disease Associated with the HIBM Mouse Model (in collaboration with Dr. Daniel Darvish): Hereditary Inclusion Body Myopathy (HIBM) is an adult onset autosomal recessive myopathy with initial clinical symptoms of weakness in the distal leg muscles. Though there are more than 60 mutations known in the GNE gene, three major founder mutations have been identified in patients of Persian-Jewish (pM712T) and Japanese decent (pV572L and pD176V). The recent development of a transgenic mouse model for HIBM and the potential for therapeutic intervention with sialic acid metabolites have created an urgent need for effective diagnostic biomarkers of disease. In collaboration with Dr. Daniel Darvish and Dr. Jim Osborne, Dr. Adams is directing an effort to identify markers of HIBM disease progression. The long-term goal of this effort is to identify robust assays for monitoring human therapy of HIBM with sialic acid metabolites or other therapeutic interventions. The short term goal is to perform a systematic survey of protein changes associated with the HIBM knock-in mouse model. There are three core elements to this project: 2D-DIGE analysis of detectable differences, primarily in muscle and serum, between diseased and normal mice , a novel immunoassay approach to identify differences using a sialic acid specific tagging chemistry, and the development of robust assays of potential markers identified in the literature as well as a limited correlation study of disease progression in the HIBM mouse model. The broader goal is to identify key molecular changes associated with the HIBM mouse, which may lead to a more thorough understanding of molecular mechanisms of this disease.
Future Research Interests
The Center for Biomarker Research is looking for collaborators in industry, academia and other non-profit organizations to develop, validate and commercialize biomarker panels to better diagnose disease and select individualized therapy.