Themes and Interactions
The NRTDP currently has a portfolio of driving biomedical projects representing important research in the areas of reproductive biology, cancer biology, heart disease and transplant rejection, among others. While these projects arise from disparate areas of science and medicine, each project cannot be performed optimally with the technology currently available. These projects drive the NRTDP forward – giving it tangible and quantifiable goals with the overarching aim to impact and improve human health through improved protein measurements.
Theme 1: Small Samples and Separations
A major issue impeding proteomics research is the ability to effectively separate proteins within small samples with robust quantitation. Elements of TR&Ds 1 and 2 will enable the separation of precious, clinically-derived samples, allowing mass spectrometric measurements with improved abilities to resolve, detect, characterize and quantify whole protein molecules. The use of small samples reduces the burden on clinician-scientists and patients alike, enabling more technical replicates from each sample.
Theme 2: Targeted Top-Down Proteomics
Top-down proteomics has the ability to provide incredible, yet simple insight into the underlying dynamic biology without the protein inference problem. Here we combine sensitive instrumentation with new methods for fragmentation of targeted proteins with software designed to allow rapid characterization of specific proteoforms of targets.
Theme 3: Discovery Translational Proteomics
Current inefficiencies present in discovery proteomics have slowed its successful adoption into translational research. Integrated separations of clinical samples, combined with next-generation mass spectrometers and software dedicated to intact protein analysis, the NRTDP will provide new methods to analyze complex proteome samples in a fundamentally new way.
Theme 4: Epiproteomics
Over the past several years, the scientific community has seen a veritable explosion of research into epigenetic profiling of mammalian cells. In TR&D 4, we pursue a set of new technologies to advance the quantitative study of histone modifications, shedding light on global gene activation or repression within specific subsets of patients with driving mutations in chromatin remodeling enzymes.