The Human Protein Atlas will pave the way to personalized medicine
World leaders in proteomics are meeting with local doctors and researchers today and tomorrow at CosmoCaixa Barcelona, in an event held by B·Debate, an initiative by Biocat and Obra Social ‘la Caixa’, co-organized in this edition by the Barcelona Science Park (PCB), ProteoRed-ISCIII, Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) and Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO). Four scientists of renowned prestige in this field –including Dr. Eliandre de Oliveira, head of the PCB's Proteomics Platform– lead this debate.
This B·Debat, titled “Clinical Proteomics: towards personalized medicine and health“, aims to push for the use of proteomics in personalized medicine. This includes the biochemical study of all the proteins that carry out biological functions in the cell, like regulating hormones, the immune system and blood clotting, among others.
The meeting is taking place in two consecutive days with six different thematic sections, and it is designed to appeal biomedical and translational researchers at all stages of their scientific career, clinicians from the national health system, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry scientists, and policy makers, scientific journalists and engaged citizens.
The international scientists participating include Henry Rodríguez, director of the Office of Cancer Clinical Proteomics Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Cancer Institute (United States); Cecilia Lindskog, researcher at Uppsala University (Sweden) who has been involved in the Human Protein Atlas since 2006 and heads up the Tissue Atlas; and Ileana M. Cristea, professor at Princeton University (United States) who is researching the cell mechanisms that defend the body against viruses, among others.
The Human Protein Atlas
Among the molecular sequencing techniques, proteomics provides functional information about the activity of proteins, which is often crucial for catching diseases early, selecting the most appropriate treatment and monitoring therapy to get real-time results. The areas that can benefit the most from proteomics are oncological, neurovascular, cardiovascular and infectious diseases.
Researchers from around the world are working on the Human Protein Atlas to map all of the proteins in human cells, tissues and organs, coded by the more than 20,000 genes identified by the Human Genome Project in the early 2000s. Each country is analyzing the proteins of one of the 23 human chromosomes. In Spain, a consortium of 20 laboratories is studying chromosome 16, because many of its genes are involved in oncological, neurovascular, cardiovascular and infectious diseases.