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Leading researchers meet for WCM-Q proteomics conference

The event was organised by Dr. Frank Schmidt.
The event was organised by Dr. Frank Schmidt.

Experts and leading scientists across the region convened for Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar’s inaugural (WCM-Q) Mini-Symposium on Proteomics.  

Proteomics is the large-scale study of all the proteins in a cell – a proteome is the complete set of proteins produced in an organism – and the two-day symposium saw researchers from a variety of organizations including Hamad Medical Corporation, Sidra Medical and Qatar Biomedical Research Institute gather 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.      

Lecturers included Dr. Stephen Pennington, professor of proteomics at University College Dublin’s School of Medicine, who discussed how proteomics can contribute to the development and delivery of personalized medicine, and Dr. Bernd Wollscheid, professor for chemistry and systems biology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, who delivered a talk entitled ‘The In Silico Human Surfaceome and Technologies for the Elucidation of the Surfaceome Nanoscale Organization.’       

Dr. Anna Halama spoke about the usefulness of proteomics as a diagnostic tool.

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, so improving treatment.     

Dr. Karsten Suhre, professor of physiology and biophysics and director of WCM-Q’s Bioinformatics Core, delivered a speech entitled ‘Connecting Genetic Risk to Disease End Points through the Human Blood Plasma Proteome’ which looked at how proteomics can highlight the underlying molecular pathways between a genetic mutation and the resulting illness.           

The mini-symposium was organized by Dr. Frank Schmidt, assistant professor of biochemistry at WC-Q, and director of the college’s Proteomics Core.         

Dr. Schmidt spoke on the topic ‘Proteomics and Immunoproteomics in the Field of Host and Pathogen Interaction’, how the proteome of pathogenic bacteria and the immunoproteome of patients actually changes after the bacteria cause disease within a human.  

Closing the conference, Dr. Schmidt said it had been a fascinating opportunity to explore the world of proteomics and hear about how the research is contributing to improved treatment strategies for a range of illnesses.

 He added: “We have seen that proteomics can be used for finding disease biomarkers and selecting candidates for vaccination. Proteins are a key player for life itself which makes the subject so interesting but also so valuable to our understanding of personalized and precision medicine and the very nature of disease itself.”