World-first network linking experts in proteomics and metabolomics

November 17, 2008

A world-first network linking experts in two leading biotechnologies, proteomics and metabolomics, has been launched by The Hon Gavin Jennings at The University of Melbourne.

The portal website of Proteomics and Metabolomics Victoria (PMV) was activated during the opening of Metabolomics Australia's node at the University, and is now publicly accessible at www.pmv.org.au.

"Nowhere else is there a cross-sector network of this nature, involving collaboration between academia, trade and industry," said Professor Mike Hubbard of the University of Melbourne's Department of Paediatrics, who spearheaded the initiative.

PMV aims to provide education about proteomics and metabolomics, to help scientists access these technologies, and to facilitate practitioners' interactions with the numerous companies supplying this field.

"Education and workforce development is a central concern shared by academic and commercial members, and together we aim to establish training schemes tailored to our collective needs."

The State Government of Victoria supported establishment of PMV through funding of a proposal made jointly by Prof Hubbard and Monash University's Professor Ian Smith.

Simply put, 'proteome' means all the proteins in an individual and 'proteomics' is the study of as many of those proteins as practicable.

Proteomics provides scientists with a variety of key benefits including deeper understanding of biological processes, increased diagnostic power, and access to information not available from gene-based approaches.

Similarly 'metabolomics' is the study of numerous metabolites, which are small molecules such as breakdown products of food, hormones and drugs.

Metabolomics provides scientists with several benefits that are both powerful in themselves and complementary to those of proteomics.

Through its link with the varied and dynamic nature of metabolism, metabolomics offers a very sensitive fingerprint for the status of a biological system (e.g. whether it is healthy or diseased or laden with performance-enhancing drugs).

Proteomics and metabolomics are used in many different research scenarios from academic laboratories in search of hot discoveries through to commercial applications in biotechnology, agriculture and medicine.

In the laboratory, these technologies are typically used to unravel basic biological mechanisms, details of which could lead to new understanding and ideas. Such "nuts and bolts" advances might in turn be harnessed by applications scientists to guide development of new drugs or diagnostics, for example.

"We hope to improve scientists' access to proteomics and metabolomics, and facilitate interactions between the supply companies and practitioners of these technologies."

"We also hope to give students and the public a clear understanding about our field, and illustrate its successful practice in Victoria."

"The website showcases the depth of information and services available in Victoria."
-end-


University of Melbourne

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