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Posted: June 8, 2009
University College Dublin hosts EMBO conference in cancer proteomics
(Nanowerk News) International experts in cancer research and proteomics are gathering in Dublin this week to discuss how the convergence of these research areas can improve the process of identifying new cancer biomarkers (Cancer Proteomics 2009).
This flagship event in the EMBO conference series programme is the first in a series of three events to be held over the next six years on the theme of cancer proteomics. The other events will take place at the European Bioinformatics Institute, Hinxton, UK in 2011 and at Lund University, Sweden in 2013.
Scientists are casting a translational framework by which proteomic (protein) investigations can advance the understanding of how cancer-related processes operate and ultimately inform treatment strategies.
Proteins confer functionality to cells. If scientists can quickly localise and quantify proteins within cells using high throughput techniques, they may potentially identify protein subsets that can act as biomarkers of cancer development & progression. This is considered important for disease diagnosis, personalising treatment regimes and monitoring therapy.
Plenary speakers addressing the conference delegates include Dr. Ruedi Aebersold, professor of systems biology at the Institute of Biotechnology, ETH-Zürich who will describe his efforts to detect protein biomarkers in blood plasma using a new, hypothesis driven, targeted quantitative proteomic strategy. In his research, Dr. Aebersold is focusing on a subset of proteins with attached sugars (glycoproteins), which add functionality. By comparing the glycoproteins in healthy tissue against those seen in tumours, he hopes to uncover potential biomarkers of disease.
Delegates at this conference will also discuss who owns and profits from biological collections,in the wake of the publication of a Government report into the creation of a national biobank. Professor Elaine Kay and David Smith from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland will lead a discussion forum to address issues relating to the establishment and maintenance of a national repository of whole blood, serum and tissue samples from patients for the purposes of research. Such a national biobank would require a regulatory framework and financial support.