Medical biomarkers represent a highly relevant clinical topic that is recognized to enable a more personalized treatment of patients and a better allocation of health care resources. Medical biomarkers can serve as diagnostic, prognostic, predictive and pharmacodynamic tools in clinical practice to (1) diagnose a disease, (2) identify at-risk patients, (3) identify different stages/severities of a disease, (4) predict disease prognosis, (5) stratify patients for the best therapy, (6) identify responders/non-responders and (7) provide adequate monitoring tools. Medical biomarkers also play a promising role in pharmaceutical drug development to provide guidelines for the safe and effective use of targeted therapeutic drugs.
The ultimate goal of medical biomarker research is to close the gap between scientific knowledge and medical needs, and to accelerate the development of new prognostic and predictive biomarkers for personalized diagnostics and therapy. The scientific concept includes all stages of strategic medical biomarker development ranging from the identification of new biomarkers, to the validation of potential biomarkers and finally to translational research that can bring candidate biomarkers into clinical practice. Newly identified or validated biomarkers will:
- improve early diagnosis, often before clinical manifestation,
- allow identification of at-risk patients for new cost-effective prevention concepts,
- facilitate personalized therapy and therapy monitoring, and
- establish new diagnostic tests with high precision, fast analysis and low costs.
Formally, AMBRA is an interdisciplinary thesis program in accordance with §4 of the PhD program curriculum at the Medical University of Graz.