After early education in Zagreb, Croatia, subsequent education at the University of Zagreb and the University of Toronto ended with a HonBSc degree in Immunology and a PhD degree in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology.
My graduate work was in the field of immunohematology, with main projects designed to address the mechanisms of antibody-mediated immune system regulation.
I subsequently enrolled in a Postdoctoral Diploma Program in Clinical Chemistry. This two-year program included rotations in general chemistry, pediatric clinical chemistry, toxicology/therapeutic drug monitoring, and genetic/metabolic laboratory.
Also a postdoctoral fellowship at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute with Dr. Diamandis research group (Advanced Centre for the Detection of Cancer) was completed.
I am currently a consultant clinical chemist at the University Health Network and Michael Garron Hospital/Toronto East Health Network.
I am interested in projects that aim to discover biomarkers of disease or biomarkers that are informative about the patients’ response to therapy. As part of this effort, the aim is also to develop new methods for possible clinical laboratory applications, such as immuno-mass spectrometry or improved immunoassays, capable of detecting proteins with specific post-translational modifications, isoforms, or activity.
My primary research goals are related to the practice of clinical chemistry. The progress in clinical chemistry as well as in a number of other medical sciences, depends to a large extent on high quality laboratory methods and bioinformatics support.
I am participating in projects in two main areas. One such area concerns development of novel applications for clinical and research mass spectrometry, particularly, quantification of specific protein isoforms, post-translationally modified proteins, and assessment of protein activity. Similarly, there is also a need for development of highly sensitive immunoassays for novel biomarkers. This particular technique has been well established, but the number of actual immunoassay that are of sufficient quality against specific proteins is still very low.
The other avenue of research concerns biomarker discovery. This area has encountered numerous difficult problems in recent years. Source of biomarkers for initial discovery, whether body fluids, tissues, or animal/cell culture models, has proven to be problematic. The source is marked by complexity and typically very low quantity of informative biomarkers. Furthermore, it is debatable how one time sampling of diseased fluid or issue or a single cell line progenitor from an individual patient can be sufficient for identifying any pathognomic feature. Novel strategies are certainly needed and, as it is unlikely that disease has no distinctive feature beyond visible symptoms, this remains an open area of research.
Selected list of publications
Immunocapture-Selected Reaction Monitoring Screening Facilitates the Development of ELISA for the Measurement of Native TEX101 in Biological Fluids. Korbakis D, Brinc D, Schiza C, Soosaipillai A, Jarvi K, Drabovich AP, Diamandis EP. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2015; 14:1517-26.
Delineating monoclonal antibody specificity by mass spectrometry. Korbakis D, Prassas I, Brinc D, Batruch I, Krastins B, Lopez MF, Diamandis EP. J Proteomics. 2015; 114:115-24.
Oikonomopoulou K, Brinc D, Hadjisavvas A, Christofi G, Kyriacou K, Diamandis EP. The bifacial role of helminths in cancer: involvement of immune and non-immune mechanisms. Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci. 2014; 51:138-48.
Prassas I, Brinc D, Farkona S, Leung F, Dimitromanolakis A, Chrystoja CC, Brand R, Kulasingam V, Blasutig IM, Diamandis EP. False biomarker discovery due to reactivity of a commercial ELISA for CUZD1 with cancer antigen CA125. Clin Chem. 2014; 60:381-8.
Oikonomopoulou K, Brinc D, Kyriacou K, Diamandis EP. Infection and cancer: revaluation of the hygiene hypothesis. Clin Cancer Res. 2013; 19:2834-41.
Brinc D, Chan MK, Venner AA, Pasic MD, Colantonio D, Kyriakopolou L, Adeli K. Long-term stability of biochemical markers in pediatric serum specimens stored at -80 °C: a CALIPER Substudy. Clin Biochem. 2012; 45:816-26.
Colantonio DA, Kyriakopoulou L, Chan MK, Daly CH, Brinc D, Venner AA, Pasic MD, Armbruster D, Adeli K. Closing the gaps in pediatric laboratory reference intervals: a CALIPER database of 40 biochemical markers in a healthy and multiethnic population of children. Clin Chem. 2012; 58:854-68.
Brinc D, Le-Tien H, Crow AR, Semple JW, Freedman J, Lazarus AH.Transfusion of antibody-opsonized red blood cells results in a shift in the immune response from the red blood cell to the antibody in a murine model. Transfusion. 2010; 50:2016-25.
Brinc D, Denomme GA, Lazarus AH. Mechanisms of anti-D action in the prevention of hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn: what can we learn from rodent models? Curr Opin Hematol. 2009; 16:488-96.
Brinc D, Le-Tien H, Crow AR, Siragam V, Freedman J, Lazarus AH. Transfusion of IgG-opsonized foreign red blood cells mediates reduction of antigen-specific B cell priming in a murine model. J Immunol. 2008; 181:948-53.
Brinc D, Le-Tien H, Crow AR, Freedman J, Lazarus AH. IgG-mediated immunosuppression is not dependent on erythrocyte clearance or immunological evasion: implications for the mechanism of action of anti-D in the prevention of haemolytic disease of the newborn? Br J Haematol. 2007;139:275-9.
Siragam V, Crow AR, Brinc D, Song S, Freedman J, Lazarus AH.Intravenous immunoglobulin ameliorates ITP via activating Fc gamma receptors on dendritic cells. Nat Med. 2006; 12:688-92.
Siragam V, Brinc D, Crow AR, Song S, Freedman J, Lazarus AH. Can antibodies with specificity for soluble antigens mimic the therapeutic effects of intravenous IgG in the treatment of autoimmune disease? J Clin Invest. 2005; 115:155-60.