Sydney West Translational Cancer Research Centre
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From genomics to proteomics: technologies and applications of high-resolution mass spectrometry in biology and medicine



Charles Perkins Centre Auditorium The University of Sydney

Professor Matthias Mann
Max-Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Munich and Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research, Copenhagen

Mass spectrometry has a long and illustrious history as an analytical science, even before the development of electrospray and MALDI made MS easily applicable to the study of proteins. Developments over the last few years have steadily increased the scope of MS-based studies in molecular biology but important challenges remain, chief among them the lack of comprehensiveness compared to oligonucleotide based systems. However, this limitation is now falling away and deep proteomic analysis of, for example, human cancer cell lines is now a reality. More than 10,000 different proteins can now be identified in such systems, in a relatively short time, shedding new light on similarities and differences to each other and to in vivo cells. Developments in sample preparation make these capabilities available in clinically relevant material as well, such as formalin-fixed, paraffin embedded samples.

In this talk Professor Mann will discuss his group's findings through the use of: streamlined highly efficient sample preparation, analysis with very high speed mass spectrometers, the MaxQuant and Perseus platforms ‘single shot’ analysis. He will demonstrate how these approaches can be applied to the analysis of cellular interactomes (Hein et al., Cell 2015) and transcription factor complexes. He will also outline how post-translational modifications such as phosphorylation, the ‘EasyPhos’ method, now allow acquiring large numbers of phosphoproteomes, for instance, for the analysis of in vivo signalling and developments make proteomics increasingly relevant to translational research.

About the speaker

Professor Matthias Mann has authored and co-authored more than 580 publications with a total citation count of over 150,000, making him one of the most highly cited researchers worldwide. He studied physics and mathematics at Göttingen University in Germany and obtained his PhD in chemical engineering at Yale University, were he was decisively involved in the development of electrospray ionization, which has become a key technology of the life sciences and for which his then supervisor was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2002. As a post-doctoral fellow and later as a Professor for bioinformatics at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, he developed, amongst others techniques, the first bioinformatic search algorithms for peptide fragmentation data and SILAC, a new method of quantitative proteomics and a breakthrough in the mapping of protein interactions. In 2009, Professor Mann was additionally appointed as Director of the Proteomics Department of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research in Copenhagen.

Professor Mann has been elected to membership of the European Molecular Biology Organization, Royal Danish Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Leopoldina German National Academy of Sciences as well as to a visiting professorship at Harvard Medical School. He has received two honorary degrees from Utrecht University and the University of Dundee, respectively. In 2012 he was awarded the Leibniz Prize from the German Research Foundation, the Ernst Schering Prize, the Louis-Jeantet Foundation Prize for Medicine and the Körber European Science Prize. Recently he was awarded the ‘The Order of Dannebrog’, by Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark.