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Biological Sciences Division
Research Highlights

April 2008

FCSD and EMSL Team to Develop a Transformational Next-Generation Proteomics Measurement Platform

The Next-Generation Proteomics Measurement Platform is developing and implementing measurements, instrument control, computational capabilities, and core informatics tools at PNNL and EMSL to enable new types of biological research. .
The Next-Generation Proteomics Measurement Platform is developing and implementing measurements, instrument control, computational capabilities, and core informatics tools at PNNL and EMSL to enable new types of biological research. Enlarged View

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Fundamental and Computational Sciences Directorate and the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory started work in January on a new measurement platform that will lead the laboratory into the next generation of proteomics measurements. The Next-Generation Proteomics Measurement Platform is combining new instrumentation and data analysis capabilities for significantly higher throughput proteomics than currently available, as well as informatics capabilities for managing the massive volumes of proteomics data that will be generated. These combined capabilities are expected to have a transformational impact on the field of proteomics and its applications in broad areas of biological and medical research. 

PNNL is at the forefront of proteomics research as a result of years of proteomics research and related technology and methodology development. The overall research plan was developed by Chief Scientist and Battelle Fellow Dick Smith, PNNL's Director of Proteomics Research. "Our leadership in proteomics is significant and widely acknowledged at present," says Smith, "but with the increasing needs for higher-throughput to address the larger numbers of samples that are needed to support, for example, systems biology approaches, we need to leverage our capabilities and expertise to take us to a new level of throughput and sensitivity in proteomics measurements."

"The overall goal of the Proteomics Platform effort is to accelerate development and implementation of a transformational capability for proteomics measurements, and keep us at the forefront of the proteomics field," according to Dave Koppenaal, who leads the cross-organizational effort. It is a 2-year, $1.5M per year endeavor that uses Laboratory-Directed Research and Development, EMSL operations, and General Research Equipment funding. Adds Koppenaal, "This novel ‘shared responsibility' concept unites the innovative capabilities at EMSL with FCSD's long-standing expertise in biology, proteomics and informatics."

Expected capabilities of the new platform include better dynamic range, more sensitivity, and higher throughput to enable new types of biological research. Says Gordon Anderson, Principal Investigator for the Proteomics Platform's data analysis piece, "We envision doing time course and imaging studies that have not been possible before. Investigations will range from the study of single cells to complex biological microbial communities. And best of all, the data analysis capabilities will enable researchers to get the most out of high-throughput proteomic data."

Smith is co-PI on the three projects. Mike Belov, FCSD, is the PI for the instrument control development project within the NGPMP.  Keqi Tang, FCSD, is the PI for the data transfer and management project.


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