HUPO President (2017-2018), Mike Snyder, California, USA
It has been a true honor to have served as HUPO President for the past two years. The field of proteomics has never been more exciting with numerous advances in technology, transformational research findings, and improved integration into systems biology and medicine. We can now profile thousands of proteins at rapid speed and with instrument sensitivities that enable single cell proteomics. Through the efforts of the Human Proteome Project (HPP) the number of uncharacterized proteins has rapidly diminished (to under 3,000) and the Human Protein Atlas has mapped the expression and subcellular localization of the majority of human proteins. Our annual HUPO meetings continue to present the very best science in proteomics and attract the very best practitioners of our field. Most importantly, we have welcomed many new scientists at our annual meeting and benefited from their outstanding contributions on numerous committees. We have undertaken many bold initiatives such as the launch of the international Human Proteomics Moonshot project. The international influence and stature of the organization is evidenced by the enthusiastic participation of former US Vice President Joseph Biden at our annual meeting. The HPP continues to make great progress as our flagship project, with Mark Baker assuming the helm after the Herculean efforts of Gil Omen to get the HPP launched and running smoothly.
Despite our many successes, there remains much to be done and we cannot afford to be complacent—this is the same as falling behind. We still cannot profile all proteins and isoforms with low sample amounts and with high throughput. Depth and speed will be important for large studies, similar to other omics fields. Single cell proteomics is promising but still in its infancy. As leaders in the field, HUPO members need to educate our peers and funding agencies about the significant value of incorporating proteomics into all major projects going forward. Many researchers and some funding agencies are beginning to recognize that understanding biological systems requires proteomics, which is closer to phenotypes than nucleic acid assays, and this has shaped the scope of some newer initiatives, for example the MoTrPAC consortium. Finally, I believe that medicine of today using large sample volumes and visits in the clinic will be replaced by small “finger prick” sample collection and mail-in assays. HUPO and the field of proteomics needs to be at the forefront of this. I anticipate major advances in the field of proteomics in the coming years and believe HUPO will play a pivotal role in making these happen. I think we are in terrific hands under Steve Pennington’s leadership. My heartfelt thanks for everyone‘s contributions during my term.