Proteins are often described as the workhorses of cells, because they are responsible for most enzymatic activity and form the basis of structural components. Proteomics is the study of the ‘entire’ protein content of an organism or cell (but in practice usually only a subset) and is used to identify and quantify proteins to help understand their function. Proteomics has become a fundamental part of biochemical science and has become synonymous with the use of mass spectrometry. Many disciplines use proteomics; life sciences and medical research obviously focus on biological systems but also chemists and biophysicists are interested in protein structure and function. Modern proteomics generates large datasets and can be quantitative so there is also a need for statistical and systems approaches to data analysis. One of the most active and exciting areas of research at the moment is when mathematics and biochemists come together for quantitative analysis of complex biological systems. With such multi-disciplinary interest in proteomics, and because the method relies heavily on mass spectrometry, research can face a steep learning curve before they can apply this powerful technology in their own research.
This project will improve the accessibility and training in proteomics through the creation of a ‘virtual guide to proteomics’ using video-protocols and tutorials, along with supporting documents to facilitate immediate utilization of proteomics across the university. The videos will help students, scientists and visitors from a diverse range of backgrounds and educational levels to access these advanced methods. Our vision is that researchers will visit the Proteomics laboratory accompanied by a virtual guide and partake in practical learning of the latest proteomics technologies.