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Project Brief: Mayo Clinic College of Medicine

NIST Measurement Science and Engineering Research Grants


Support improved accuracy in tests of prostate specific antigen (PSA) for detecting prostate cancer, and sex steroids such as testosterone, for assessing disease risks and proper dosing of hormone replacement therapy, by developing robust, standardized reference methods for measuring PSA and the biologic activity of testosterone and other sex hormones in human blood.

RECIPIENT: Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN

  • Project duration: 3 Years
  • Total NIST Funding: $1,496,654
Standard reference methods are critically important for high-quality laboratory measurements. Standardization and harmonization of test result values between medical centers and within medical centers over time have become increasingly important because of the mobility of patients and health care workers, and also because of restrictions on redundant testing. The implementation of practice guidelines with global decision limits accentuates the importance of accurate standards and test harmonization. Two important analytes are prostate specific antigen (PSA) and testosterone. PSA test results are directly linked to clinical decisions for biopsy of the prostate gland to diagnose prostate cancer, and accurate measurements of steroid hormones, including testosterone, are important for assessing disease risks and dosing of exogenous hormone replacement. This project will support improved accuracy in these tests by developing robust, standardized reference methods for measuring PSA and the biologic activity of sex steroids in human blood and by demonstrating the clinical utility of these procedures for diagnosing prostate cancer and assessing metabolic disorders of androgen and estrogen metabolism.

Public contact (for project information):

Robert Nellis
507-284-9521nellis.robert [at] (

NIST Program Office Contact:

Jason Boehm, 301-975-8678Jason.boehm [at] (

Created January 20, 2010, Updated September 9, 2021