An increasing number of biomedical research initiatives are turning to molecular science and genetics to understand human diseases on a more fundamental, yet comprehensive cellular level. If scientists are able to better analyze pathogen and human cell physiology, tests and treatments can be developed to be more accurate, sensitive, and even personalized.
One of the few modern approaches to accomplishing these is through proteomics, or the large-scale study of proteins and their complements, variations and mutations, and interactions. It is an emerging interdisciplinary specialization that has the potential to give scientists a closer look at disease initiation, progression, and treatment efficacy.
The Texas Regional CTSA Consortium, under the national Clinical and Translational Science Awards program supported by the National Institutes of Health, has just awarded the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston a grant worth $5.7 million and designated it the flagship institution for a new University of Texas System research network.
The UT System Proteomics Core Facility Network was started by Patricia Hurn, the UT System vice chancellor for research and innovation, and will be led by program director and researcher, Alexander Kurosky from UTMB. The network will bring together all proteomics-related resources, experts, and research and development from all UT System affiliates. Some of its key goals are:
Make available high-performance proteomics-related technologies and expertise to all UT System researchers;
Develop new methods to increase the competitiveness of UT System institutions for national grant support;
Provide greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness of expensive equipment and reduce redundancies across campuses;
Develop higher standards of analytical practice and benchmarking; and
Provide educational access and opportunities for research trainees and young investigators relating to key proteomics technologies that would not otherwise be available to them.
UTMB will be working closely with other UT System institutions, such as UT Austin, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, UT Arlington, UT Health Science Center at Tyler and UT Southwestern Medical Center.
In other UTMB news, a pair of aerospace medicine residents will be traveling to the South Pole to garner experience in several medical clinics under the UTMB’s Center for Polar Medical Operations. For anyone looking to practice medicine in space, Antarctica’s austere environment would be a good simulation.