Vera Ignjatovic,University of Melbourne, Australia
Blood plasma is a highly accessible sample for monitoring the health status of a donor and is, as such, one of the most frequently analyzed specimens for clinical testing. Plasma is therefore a sample type that is also very frequently used in translational research. However, it is a challenging sample for proteomics analysis because a small number of proteins are extremely abundant, making it difficult to assay the very many lower abundance proteins.
The Human Plasma Proteome Project (HPPP) was launched in 2002 as one of the first initiatives of HUPO with the main aim of uncovering the complexities and defining the protein contents of this key reporter system.
Today, the HPPP initiative is led by Jochen Schwenk, Eric Deutsch and Vera Ignjatovic a group of proteomics researchers with diverse focus areas. Similar to the body fluid it studies, HPPP is a connecting platform that has collaboration at its core. This became evident in a recent article produced by a multinational and multidisciplinary team of early career researchers, representatives from the industry and senior members of the community.
The HPPP also aims to support early carrier researchers (ECR) such as Philipp Geyer, who has implemented the rectangular strategy and is working on biomarker discovery in Matthias Mann´s laboratories in Munich and Copenhagen. Philipp joined the HPPP for a plasma proteomics review published in the Journal of Proteome Research last month, allowing him to work in an interactive team of highly experienced proteomics researchers.
[Ignjatovic V, Geyer PE, Palaniappan KK, Chaaban JE, Omenn GS, Baker MS, Deutsch EW, Schwenk JM. Mass Spectrometry-Based Plasma Proteomics: Considerations from Sample Collection to Achieving Translational Data. Journal of Proteome Research]
HPPP wants to support the community and reflect on the recent improvements in the depth, coverage and speed of studying plasma proteins - either via MS-based approaches or affinity assays. A revived interest in this clinically valuable proteome is accompanied with an increase in the number of MS data sets available to the public, as well as increasing availability of large-scale affinity proteomics data. In addition, links to other omics data types will help to uncover the currently less well understood processes in health, disease, and ageing. The growing resources to build targeted MS as well as affinity-enhanced assays will further expand our understanding of the plasma proteome.
The HPPP seeking researchers engaged in plasma proteomics projects or anyone interested in advancing the state-of-the-art in plasma proteomics in the future to join the HPPP team. Please contact any of the above co-authors and state your interest in joining this project.