Proteomics: advances in biomarker discovery

Welwyn Garden City , Hertfordshire
Friday, 23 November 2007


Proteomics: advances in biomarker discovery
Friday, 23 November 2007 09:30 - 17:00

BioPark Hertfordshire
Broadwater Road
Welwyn Garden City
United Kingdom

Map and Directions

Proteomics is an exciting area of research that holds promise for the future. It is widely accepted that proteomics holds the potential to identify new diagnostic and or prognostic biomarkers, and drug targets for the development of new therapeutic approaches for fighting disease. Proteomics, the large scale analysis of gene expression at the protein level incorporates structural, interaction and expression proteomics. Using expression proteomics, the aim is to detect and identify all, or a subset, of the proteins in a given sample and find out which of these proteins are present, absent, or differentially expressed in a related sample subject to as specific variation. For example, proteomics enables the identification of protein alterations responsible for the development and the pathological outcome of disease leading to the discovery of new protein markers, “biomarkers”, for diagnostic/prognostic purposes and of novel molecular targets for drug discovery. A combination of two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry are the most widely used tools in this area of proteomics, although many other technologies are also currently available and continually emerging.

This meeting examines the use of proteomics in the identification of biomarkers using a variety of old, new and developing technologies. Meeting Chair - Dr Ayesha De Souza


09:00 – 09:45 Registration - Tea/Coffee

09:45 – 10:00 Introduction by the Chair: Dr Ayesha De Souza

St. George's, University of London, UK

10:00 – 10:30 Proteomic approaches to biomarker discovery and validation

Dr Ashley Martin, CRUK Institute for Cancer Studies, University of Birmingham, UK

There is a great need to discover and validate clinically use cancer biomarkers. It is widely accepted the early detection and treatment of cancer is one the most important factors for patient survival. However, the available biomarkers are neither sensitive nor specific enough to be relied upon for routine diagnosis. Technological advances in mass spectrometry have allowed the serum proteome to be scrutinized in more detail and these approaches have been applied to biomarker discovery for a range of cancer types. The methodologies and associated problems will be discussed.

10:30 – 11:00 Proteomic strategies for biomarker discovery in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis

Dr Robin Wait, Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, Imperial College London, UK

11:00 – 11:15 Group photo

11:15 – 11:45 Morning Tea/Coffee

11:45 – 12:15 The use of proteomic technologies to searching for early biomarkers of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Dr Mark Weeks, Institute of Cancer, UK

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer – related deaths in the western world. It is difficult to detect early can only can be cured if it is found at an early stage. There is a real need to find non-invasive disease markers that will enable earlier intervention and improve patient prognosis. Urine is easily an obtainable body fluid that may be a source of cancer biomarkers. The application of proteomic techniques to screen the urine of patients for changes occurring at the molecular level could potentially revolutionise the detection and management of pancreatic cancer, thus saving valuable lives.

12:15 – 12:45 Cancer Biomarkers to predict clinical status and response to Immunotherapy

Professor Robert Rees, Department of Life Sciences Nottingham Trent University Nottingham, UK

12:45 – 13:15 Tour of the BioPark

13:15 – 14:30 Lunch

14:30 – 15:00 Proteomic approaches for the study of anticancer therapies

Dr Lynn Cawkwell, The University of Hull, UK

We are utilising a combined approach based on transcriptomic and proteomic methods to further our understanding of a range of anticancer therapies (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormone therapy, antiangiogenic therapies). To identify biomarkers associated with radiotherapy resistance we utilised complementary techniques including expression microarrays, antibody microarrays and 2DE/MALDI-ToF analysis. Putative biomarkers were validated using immunoblotting and real-time PCR.

15:00 – 15:30 A type 2 diabetes model investigated by proteomics and validated by the deltaDOT LFII technology

Dr Judit Nagy, Imperial College, London, UK

Type 2 diabetes (T2D), which develops when the body produces only a limited amount of insulin, or when the insulin that is produced does not function properly, termed ‘insulin resistance’. It is widely accepted that insulin binding to its receptor on target cells mediates downstream phosphorylation and activation of the insulin receptor substrate (IRS) family. Transgenic KO mice lacking IRS2 display many of the hallmarks of T2D in human subjects, which includes peripheral insulin resistance and a lack of compensatory ß-cell expansion. In order to further elucidate the protein expression alterations within the liver in response to T2D we compared the hepatic protein expression of livers from WT and IRS2-/- mice. Proteomics data was validated using capillary electrophoresis on deltaDOT’s Peregrine.

15:30 – 16:00 Chairman’s summing up & close

About the speakers

Dr Ashley Martin, CRUK Institute for Cancer Studies, University of Birmingham
Dr Martin started his research looking into the regulation of glycerolipid biosynthesis in rat livers at the University of Nottingham with Prof David Brindley. When reports came out implicating glycerolipids as signalling intermediates this work became the main focus of Dr Martin’s research.  After working on cell signalling with Prof. Wakelam at Birmingham and as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton Dr Martin set up the proteomic facility at the CRUK Institute for Cancer Studies at Birmingham University. The main focus of research in the group is cancer biomarker discovery using mass spectrometry based technologies.

Dr Mark Weeks, Institute of Cancer, UK
After gaining a PhD from the University of kent I took a position at Ludwig institute for cancer Research as a postdoctoral research fellow. Work conducted at Ludwig centered on the use of proteomic technology to define differences induced by low file strength magnetic fileds in the yeast schizzosaccaromyces pombe. From the Ludwig I joined QMUL where I have used proteomic technology to look for biomarkers of pancreatic cancer in clinical urine samples. I have since moved on to the UCL cancer proteomics unit.

Dr Judit Nagy, Imperial College, London, UK
Dr Judit M. Nagy, MRSC, is currently Research Scientist in Proteomics in the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College. Apart from managing the high-throughput proteomics facility, she runs her own research group. Her main research programmes include the proteomic characterization of stem cells and the mapping of the insulin resistance pathway. In her previous job she was the Protein Analysis Core Facility Manager based in the Centre for Molecular Microbiology and Infection (CMMI) at Imperial College London. By nature of her job she has been collaborating on numerous projects within and outside of Imperial College.

Dr Lynn Cawkwell, The University of Hull, UK
I gained a BSc (Hons) in Genetics and then worked as a Scientific Officer researching DNA repair at the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research before moving to Leeds University to pursue a PhD in molecular oncology. I joined the new Academic Department of Oncology, University of Hull as a Lecturer in 1999, establishing a program of cancer research covering Histology, Molecular Pathology, Molecular Genetics and Proteomics in the R&D Laboratory, Castle Hill Hospital. The focus is the study of anticancer therapies. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2003 and established a multidisciplinary collaborative Cancer Biology Proteomics Group.

Dr.  Delmiro Fernandez-Reyes, National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK
Trained as a cinician I did a DPhil on basic science focused at the study of the molecular basis of severe malaria infections. After that I was awarded a MRC Special Training Fellowship in Bioinformatics during which I trained as a Computer Scientist focused in Statistical Machine Learning and its application in proteomic datasets. Recently I started running my independent research program at the MRC National Institute for Medical Research

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