Experts and leading scientists across the region recently convened for the inaugural mini-symposium on Proteomics at Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar  (WCM-Q). Proteomics is the large-scale study of all proteins in a cell – a proteome is the complete set of proteins produced in an organism.

The two-day symposium was attended by researchers from different organisations including Hamad Medical Corporation, Sidra Medical and Qatar Biomedical Research Institute. Participants gathered to hear about the potential applications of proteomics and how advances in the subject is providing data that will impact upon many other areas of medicine and biomedical research. The first day focused on human-specific aspects of the proteome, while the second day examined the proteome’s interaction with human pathogens.

The audience at the proteomics conferenceDr Stephen Pennington, Professor of Proteomics at the University College Dublin’s School of Medicine, discussed how proteomics can contribute to the development and delivery of personalised medicine; while Dr Bernd Wollscheid, Professor for Chemistry and Systems Biology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, delivered a talk entitled ‘The In Silico Human Surfaceome and Technologies for the Elucidation of the Surfaceome Nanoscale Organization’.

Speakers from WCM-Q included Dr Anna Halama, Assistant Professor of Research in Physiology and Biophysics, whose talk ‘Uncovering Signatures Associated with T2D using Multi-Omics Technologies’ looked at how proteomics could help diagnose conditions associated with the progression of type 2 diabetes, essentially improving treatment.

Dr Karsten Suhre, Professor of Physiology and Biophysics and Director of the WCM-Q Bioinformatics Core, also delivered a talk which looked at how proteomics can highlight the underlying molecular pathways between genetic mutation and the resulting illness.

The mini-symposium was organised by Dr Frank Schmidt, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at WCM-Q, and Director of Proteomics Core. He delivered a talk on how the proteome of pathogenic bacteria and the immunoproteome of patients change after the bacteria caused disease within the human body.  In closing, Dr Schmidt said the gathering has been a fascinating opportunity to explore the world of proteomics and to hear about how research is contributing to improved treatment strategies for a range of illnesses.

We have seen that proteomics can be used for finding disease biomarkers and selecting candidates for vaccination. Proteins are key players for life itself which makes the subject so interesting but also so valuable to our understanding of personalised and precision medicine and the very nature of disease itself.’

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