By Nicole Fawcett | www.mcancer.org | Photography by Dustin Johnston | 27 June
Researchers at the University of Michigan will lead one of five nationally funded centers dedicated to accelerating research into understanding the molecular basis of cancer and sharing resources with the scientific community.
U-M researchers received a grant from the National Cancer Institute to establish a Proteogenomic Data Analysis Center. The center will comprehensively characterize cancer tumor samples to integrate and analyze proteogenomic data to improve researchers’ ability to develop more targeted cancer therapies.
Principal investigator Alexey I. Nesvizhskii, Ph.D.
Proteogenomics reflects proteomics – the study of proteins – with an understanding of genomics.
“The investment in proteomics on the part of NCI through this consortium shows the importance of proteomics and proteogenomics research,” says principal investigator Alexey I. Nesvizhskii, Ph.D., associate professor of pathology and of computational medicine and bioinformatics at the University of Michigan.
“Proteomics provides complementary information not apparent from the analysis of genomic and transcriptomic data alone. U-M is uniquely positioned to implement advanced bioinformatics infrastructure to address these challenges,” he adds.
The program intends to leverage recent advancements in cancer proteomics and genomics and accelerates research in these areas by disseminating research resources for the scientific community.
The Proteogenomic Data Analysis Centers will support the NCI’s Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium, which will support broad efforts to explore the complexities of cancer proteomes and their connections to abnormalities in cancer genomes. In addition, the potential of proteomic and proteo-genomic approaches will be explored in translational research focused on clinically relevant problems, such as the ability to predict which treatments are likely to be effective against a specific patient's tumor.
“Proteogenomics has great potential to unleash new insights in oncology. The combination of proteomic, transcriptomic, and genomic data can now reproducibly identify proteins in cancer genomes that were difficult or not possible to infer by genomics alone,” says Henry Rodriguez, Ph.D., director of the Office of Cancer Clinical Proteomics Research of the National Cancer Institute.
Proteogenomic Data Analysis Centers will conduct integrative analyses of data across the entire proteomes and genomes of certain cancer types to understand how distinct changes at the proteome level are related to abnormalities in cancer genomes or changes at the functional level.
Funding for this project is through National Cancer Institute grant U24CA210967.