Institute for Proteomics Technology and Applications

The broad objectives of the Institute for Proteomics Technology and Applications are to engage in research in developing new proteomics technology and in using that technology for proteomics research. Of particular interest are nanomaterials-based sensors and mass spectrometry, and their application to proteomics.

In a short year, proteomics, the systemic study of proteins based on the genome, has captured the attention of academia, government and industry alike. Although determining the identity, structure and concentration of the significant proteins is a daunting task, the potential return of this endeavor is hard to resist. On the scholarly level, one can expect to gain a vastly improved understanding of life as it is reflected in the cell cycle. On a practical level, this understanding enables the design of smart drugs that specifically target the cellular process related to a particular disease.

Current developments in analytical instrumentation, more specifically mass spectrometry, have led to the technology that enables the high throughput protein analysis that is a prerequisite for answering the questions posed by proteomics. Due to the high efficiency of biomolecules in performing their tasks, some of them are present in the cells at very low concentrations. (For example, only a few hundred molecules of some of the signaling proteins are present in any given cell). Determining the identity, primary structure and concentration of these species is a significant challenge.