Scientists at the University of Edinburgh, working with colleagues at Glasgow and
Dundee, have today been awarded over £11M for collaborative research in proteomics, the science often described as the next step after the sequencing of the human genome.
The funding will be used to develop technological advances in proteomics that could bring practical applications in biology and medicine closer to reality.
Proteomics is the study of the structure and function of proteins - the essential building blocks of living things - and the ways that they are produced in different contexts within cells. All proteins are ultimately encoded as DNA sequences in the genome, the ‘master recipe’ for all the components of an organism.
It is now thought that there are many more proteins than there are corresponding genes in the genome; just as it’s possible to have many variants of cake based on any one recipe, any one gene can produce an array of protein products depending on circumstances.
Identifying the make up, function and interactions of the many possible products of the genome - the ‘proteome’ - is one of the next great challenges for science.
Proteomics offers the potential to understand the fundamental biological processes that underpin a wide range of diseases, including diabetes, arthritis and cancer, and may help in the development of new drugs. The funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
(BBSRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has
been awarded to RASOR-Radical Solutions for Researching the Proteome, a
collaboration of the Universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee under the Research Councils’ Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration in Proteomic Technologies initiative. To accompany the grant, funding has also been awarded by BBSRC, EPSRC and the Medical Research Council for a Doctoral Training Centre to train PhD students in proteomics technology research. “RASOR will allow the design and application of exciting new technologies for
proteomic research, building upon the international reputation established in Edinburgh”. The overarching motivation is to link biological and chemical discovery with medical and biotechnological advancement in a way which has not been possible before. The Centre also encourages closer collaboration between Engineers and scientists at the University of Edinburgh and researchers in other academic and industrial groups.”