KGI Professor Jim Osborne Appointed Full-Time Member of Faculty
Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) has announced that Jim Osborne, industry professor of biophysical chemistry, has been appointed a full-time member of the KGI faculty, and has also been named director of the new Center for Biomarker Research (CBR) on the KGI campus. Osborne, formerly corporate vice president of the Advanced Technology Center for Beckman Coulter, Inc., joined KGI as a visiting member of the faculty in July 2008.
"KGI is thrilled to have Jim join us on a full-time basis," said James D. Sterling, interim vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty. "His transition from a distinguished industry leader in biomedical diagnostics to academia will greatly benefit KGI in both educational and research programs."
As CBR director Osborne plans to set up a laboratory that follows good laboratory practice (GLP) guidelines to search for new diagnostic biomarkers (such as nucleic acids, proteins, and cells) that improve diagnosis and selection of therapies for patients with specific diseases. In collaboration with the Center for Rare Disease Therapies (CRDT) at KGI, the CBR will identify biomarkers for rare diseases.
"Rare diseases are defined as conditions that affect less than 200,000 people in the United States," Osborne explains. "There are over 7,000 known rare diseases, many of which are very difficult to diagnose. In addition, many patients within the rare disease population often have different clinical outcomes to the same therapy. Biomarkers, which are measures of individual metabolism, can be used to help diagnose disease and select therapy for specific patients. Early diagnosis of disease often leads to better outcomes in terms of patient well-being and/or a lower cost of care."
According to Osborne, diagnostic biomarkers have potential benefits in many areas. Benefits for the rare disease community, for example, include more effective screenings and treatments. Potential benefits to the health care community include lower costs of care, while potential benefits to the scientific community are a better understanding of the molecular basis of rare diseases. Many of the pathways involved in rare diseases may also be involved in more common illnesses, so the knowledge gained may lead to industry investments in new treatments for a variety of health problems.
Osborne is looking forward to developing the new center. "KGI has led the effort to prepare scientists and engineers for successful careers in industry," he says. "I'm excited about expanding this outstanding program to include discovery of new diagnostic biomarkers for rare diseases."
In addition to his responsibilities as CBR director, Osborne will teach a course on in vitro diagnostics and serve as faculty advisor to Team Masters Projects.
Osborne plans to continue evaluating advanced technology for Beckman Coulter Inc., and hopes to expand the successful collaborations between KGI and its industrial and academic partners through education and research in the CBR laboratory on the KGI campus.
Osborne joined Beckman Coulter in 1985 as manager of applications and centrifuge research in Palo Alto. In 1987, he was named director of research and applications and then director of the advanced development unit in 1990. From 1992 to 1996, he was vice president-director of advanced chemistry and DNA analysis and had responsibility for the Beckman Center of Advanced Capillary Electrophoresis, in addition to various analytical and specific chemistries. From 1996 to 1998 he was vice president-director of biotechnology chemistry development.
Prior to joining Beckman Coulter, Osborne investigated cholesterol transport and lipid metabolism as a staff member of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
- By Carol Sorgen
Educating the future leaders of the bioscience industry, Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) offers an interdisciplinary graduate education through its Master of Bioscience (MBS) degree program and its PhD program in Applied Life Sciences. Using team-based learning and real-world projects, KGI's innovative curriculum seamlessly combines applied life sciences, bioengineering, bioethics and business management. KGI also has a robust research program concentrating on the translation of basic discoveries in the life sciences into applications that can benefit society. KGI is a member of The Claremont Colleges, located in Claremont, California.
Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences is dedicated to education and research aimed at translating into practice, for the benefit of society, the power and potential of the life sciences.