A Canada-wide technology platform for mapping the human interactome

June 23, 2009

Montréal, June 23, 2009 - On June 18, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) announced the award of $9.16 million for the creation of a national technology platform aimed at mapping the human interactome. This national platform, headed by Dr. Benoit Coulombe from the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM), will not only provide Canadian researchers with new state-of-the-art equipment in proteomics, functional genomics and bioinformatics, but also bring together integrated infrastructure for deciphering the human interactome an expertise that, until now, has been spread in 12 universities across Canada.

Sequencing the human genome has revolutionized biomedical research. One of the major challenges that scientists throughout the world are facing in the post-genome era is the mapping of the interactome, which can be defined as the complete set of interaction networks underlying the functioning of our cells. The creation of a nation-wide platform will allow Canadian scientists to position themselves favorably in interactome research. In fact, a group of Canadian researchers led by Dr. Coulombe is currently working with American and European colleagues on the creation of an international project, the International Interactome Initiative (I3), aimed at developing new technologies and expertise to elucidate the interactome.

"Canada has now a powerful tool that will allow its scientists to continue to take the lead in international research on the human interactome," mentioned Dr. Coulombe. "Thanks to this $22.9 million investment from the CFI and the other partners in this project, we will not only be able to gather detailed data allowing us to understand the interactome's dynamic organization, but also combine the areas of expertise of some of our best scientists through a very promising multidisciplinary project for our country and our respective provinces and institutions." According to Dr. Coulombe, understanding the interactome's organization by mapping the dynamic networks that proteins form when they interact together and with other molecules such as RNAs or DNA will allow us to better define the very bases of life and the misfunctions that lead to illness and eventually death. "There is even hope that this knowledge of the intricate molecular functioning of human cells will lead to the development of better treatments to fight against diseases," concluded the researcher.

"Canadian scientists are at the forefront of research aimed at deciphering how proteins inside the cell interact, and how errors in this process underlie disease states. This generous funding from the CFI will allow leading scientific groups in Canada to collaborate in addressing this critical problem in biomedicine. This collaboration will greatly accelerate our ability to analyze the proteins within normal and diseased cells, and to comprehensively map out their interactions," added Dr. Anthony Pawson of The Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute (SLRI) in Toronto and the recipient of several prestigious international awards such as the Gairdner Award (1994), the Wolf Prize (2005) and the Kyoto Prize (2008). Dr. Pawson is one of the scientists involved in the national platform project and the creation of the International Interactome Initiative (I3), along with Dr. Coulombe.

"I am proud that the IRCM is coordinating such an important Canada-wide initiative under the leaderschip of Dr. Coulombe. The IRCM is fully committed to provide all necessary support for the success of this new technology platform," added Dr. Tarik Möröy, President and Scientific Director of the IRCM.
-end-
In addition to the IRCM and The Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital, four other institutions received infrastructure funding as part of this grant, which will allow them to acquire equipment that will complement the technologies currently available. These are: the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research (DCCBR) at the University of Toronto, the Ottawa Institute of Systems Biology (OISB) at the University of Ottawa, the Université de Sherbrooke, and Dalhousie University

Dr. Benoit Coulombe is Full Research Professor IRCM, Director of the Research Unit on Gene Transcription and Proteomics and Director of the Proteomics Discovery Platform at the IRCM. He is also Full Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the Université de Montréal and is accredited in molecular biology at that same university.

Established in 1967, the IRCM (www.ircm.qc.ca) now has 35 research units specialized in areas as diverse as immunity and viral infections, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, cancer, neurobiology and development, systems biology and medicinal chemistry, clinical research and bioethics. It has a staff of more than 450 people. The IRCM is an independent institution, affiliated with the Université de Montréal and has built, over the years, a close collaboration with McGill University.

Information:
Benoit Coulombe, Ph.D.
Director of the Research Unit on Gene Transcription and Proteomics
Benoit.Coulombe@ircm.qc.ca
514-987-5662

Olivier Lagueux
Communications Officer
olivier.lagueux@ircm.qc.ca
514-987-5555
www.ircm.qc.ca

Institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal

Related Proteins Articles from Brightsurf:

New understanding of how proteins operate
A ground-breaking discovery by Centenary Institute scientists has provided new understanding as to the nature of proteins and how they exist and operate in the human body.

Finding a handle to bag the right proteins
A method that lights up tags attached to selected proteins can help to purify the proteins from a mixed protein pool.

Designing vaccines from artificial proteins
EPFL scientists have developed a new computational approach to create artificial proteins, which showed promising results in vivo as functional vaccines.

New method to monitor Alzheimer's proteins
IBS-CINAP research team has reported a new method to identify the aggregation state of amyloid beta (Aβ) proteins in solution.

Composing new proteins with artificial intelligence
Scientists have long studied how to improve proteins or design new ones.

Hero proteins are here to save other proteins
Researchers at the University of Tokyo have discovered a new group of proteins, remarkable for their unusual shape and abilities to protect against protein clumps associated with neurodegenerative diseases in lab experiments.

Designer proteins
David Baker, Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Washington to speak at the AAAS 2020 session, 'Synthetic Biology: Digital Design of Living Systems.' Prof.

Gone fishin' -- for proteins
Casting lines into human cells to snag proteins, a team of Montreal researchers has solved a 20-year-old mystery of cell biology.

Coupled proteins
Researchers from Heidelberg University and Sendai University in Japan used new biotechnological methods to study how human cells react to and further process external signals.

Understanding the power of honey through its proteins
Honey is a culinary staple that can be found in kitchens around the world.

Read More: Proteins News and Proteins Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.