MORGANTOWN, W.Va., Feb. 24, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Protea Biosciences Group, Inc. ("Protea"), a leading bioanalytics company, announced today it had begun a research collaboration with the laboratory of Gary J. Van Berkel, Ph.D., Distinguished Research Staff and Group Leader, Organic and Biological Mass Spectrometry Group, in the Chemical Sciences Division, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Under terms of the research collaboration, a LAESI DP-1000 ionization system, based on Protea's proprietary technology will be used by the Van Berkel laboratory to explore the molecular structures of material surfaces. The two parties will jointly publish research results and Protea will have certain rights to the discoveries resulting from the collaboration.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is the largest science and energy national laboratory in the U.S. Department of Energy system, employing 1600 scientists and engineers. ORNL's scientific programs focus on materials, neutron science, energy, high-performance computing, systems biology and national security.

"We are honored to commence this research collaboration with the Van Berkel laboratory at Oak Ridge," stated Steve Turner, Protea's Chairman & CEO. "Their team has been responsible for many innovations in the field of surface profiling. We believe the combination of their laboratory's expertise with the revolutionary capabilities of the LAESI technology will generate exciting results for life science research."

Dr. Van Berkel commented, "There has been a great need for new technology that ionizes samples with no sample preparation, so that material surfaces can be analyzed rapidly and without bias under ambient conditions. This product has the potential to make a real contribution to the future of surface profiling and imaging mass spectrometry."

In 2011, Protea completed the development of the first instruments to embody LAESI technology. By eliminating pretreatment steps, samples can be analyzed without the possible contamination, bias or sample loss that occurs with the current techniques, which require the introduction of chemicals, chromatographic separations, or the destruction of the sample itself, in order to enable the identification and characterization of material surfaces by mass spectrometry.

LAESI technology was invented in the laboratory of Akos Vertes, PhD., Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Founder and Co-director W.M. Keck Institute for Proteomics Technology and Applications Department of Chemistry, George Washington University, and exclusively licensed to Protea.

Protea is a leader in the field of Bioanalytics -- the identification and characterization of proteins, metabolites, and other biomolecules, which are the products of all living cells and life forms -- technology that is foundational for all pharmaceutical and life science research.

The Protea Biosciences, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=10808

Forward-Looking Statements

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Protea Biosciences Group, Inc.
955 Hartman Run Road
Morgantown, WV 26507

Phone: 304.284.2600
Fax: 304.292.7101
stephen.turner@proteabio.com

Protea website: www.proteabio.com
About LAESI: https://proteabio.com/LAESI
Oak Ridge National Laboratory website: www.ornl.gov/