Marine Biochemical Sciences Group
Marine Biochemical Sciences (MBS) is the latest group created within the Chemical Sciences Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). MBS is principally located at the Hollings Marine Laboratory, Charleston, South Carolina. Its mission is to perform state-of-the-art bioanalytical measurements, provide reference data and tools, develop standards, and advance the measurement sciences to support the nation’s needs for research on marine organisms. Activities include the development of bioanalytical methods to characterize, identify, and quantitate molecules pertinent to marine organisms, including their biochemistry, molecular biology and toxicology (when applicable). The group’s approach is to perform integrated studies of chemical and biological processes in marine organisms, using techniques such as genomics, transcriptomics, peptidomics, proteomics, metabolomics and lipidomics. MBS will provide support for the biochemical analysis of specimens stored in the Environmental Specimen Bank. MBS will curate, analyze, and disseminate reference data for NIST and its stakeholders, particularly regarding biochemical data associated with reference materials.
The Marine Biochemical Sciences group is an important and unique component of NIST’s strategic plan as its mission is at the interface between Chemistry and Biology. The MBS marine mandate plays a crucial role in the Hollings Marine Laboratory partnership with NOAA, MUSC, CofC and SCDNR, as it provides the partners with measurement science solutions for an assortment of marine-related projects such as developments in marine biomedicine applications and precision medicine (another NIST strategic goal), environmental issues related to climate change, and temporal studies of marine organism health through application of current or new analytical and biochemical techniques. Additionally, certain projects are aimed to define cellular and biomolecular measurements that will enhance genetic and evolutionary studies, food web studies and integrated exposome studies.