Julius Nyalwidhe, PhD, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology, has been named Director of the George L. Wright Center for Biomedical Proteomics, located within the Leroy T. Canoles Jr. Cancer Research Center at EVMS. A molecular parasitologist and protein biochemist, Dr. Nyalwidhe has extensive experience and training in the application of proteomics and mass spectrometry in the fields of infectious diseases, cancer biology and biomarker discovery.

Dr. Nyalwidhe came to EVMS in 2007 from the Philipps-Universität Marburg in Germany, where he was Assistant Professor and Founding Director of the University’s Protein Analysis Facility. His recruitment to EVMS was, in part, to strengthen and enhance the school’s mass spectrometry and proteomic expertise and capabilities. He also has been a significant force within EVMS’ National Cancer Institute-designated Biomarker Development Laboratory (BDL), which is part of the National Institutes of Health/NCI Early Detection Research Network. The lab’s focus is to develop protein-based biomarkers for prostate cancer. 

Dr. Nyalwidhe has worked closely with his EVMS colleagues and external collaborators to comprehensively analyze potential candidate biomarkers for prostate cancer. This collaborative team pioneered the development of expressed prostatic secretions (proximal fluids of the prostate that are obtained after digital rectal examination), as a source of clinically relevant biomarkers for prostate cancer diagnosis and prognosis. 

Due to the continuous growth, progress and productivity of the proteomics team at the Canoles Cancer Research Center and their international research collaborators, the NIH/NCI recently awarded the team a $2.1 million grant to continue work on prostate cancer as a BDL for the Early Detection Research Network. Led by Dr. Nyalwidhe and John Semmes, PhD, the Anthem Distinguished Professor for Cancer Research, Director of the Canoles Cancer Research Center and Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology, the researchers are working on optimizing and validating a set of liquid-biopsy molecular markers for prognosis and diagnosis of aggressive forms of prostate cancers. 

Dr. Nyalwidhe epitomizes team science. Since joining EVMS, he has been an integral member of cross-disciplinary science consortia. He has teamed with Jerry Nadler, MD, the Harry H. Mansbach Chair in Internal Medicine and Professor and Chair of Internal Medicine, to understand the viral etiology of diabetes and development of biomarkers for type 1 diabetes. He also has enhanced pediatric translational-research objectives for several teams of researchers from EVMS and Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters. 

Dr. Nyalwidhe is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research, Minorities in Cancer Research, NIH/NCI Early Detection Research Network, American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, American Society of Mass Spectrometry, and the Human Proteome Organization. He serves on national and international grant-review panels and is avidly sought out for his expertise in proteomics, mass spectrometry and biomarker discovery.