Towards a European proteomics infrastructure

Monday, 01 November 2010 01:00

20101101aA great European cooperation has been set up to join forces in the field of proteomics research and its high throughput analysis facilities. The initiative is coordinated by Albert Heck, scientific director of the Netherlands Proteomics Centre, and did take shape in the the so-called PRIME-XS proposal: Proteomics Research Infrastructure Maximising knowledge Exchange and access (XS). Recently, the proposal has been granted by an EU funding of eight million Euros. PRIME-XS starts in the spring of 2011 and run for four years.

Successful and biologically meaningful high-throughput mass spectrometry based proteomics is a specialised activity that calls for a supra-national approach to increase its impact on European society. Currently, the bottleneck in state of the art proteomics is not just its dependence on the availability of hardware infrastructure, but more even on the expertise required for its efficient and innovative use.

In response to the growing demand for access to high quality proteomics research facilities, the EU announced a call for proposals within the FP7-INFRASTRUCTURES programme for the life sciences entitled: ‘High throughput facilities for proteome analysis’. Projects under this topic were expected to aim at integrating the European key facilities for high-throughput proteome analysis, based on state-of-the-art proteomics techniques and tools for data handling. PRIME-XS, including a strong consortium of leading proteomics researchers in Europe, was submitted in December 2009 and positively recommended for funding in the summer of 2010.

Participating partners

PRIME-XS brings together European leaders within the field of proteomics including their existing infrastructures and expertise (see Table). The European cooperation will provide a world-class research infrastructure for high-throughput proteome analysis. By further supporting access to these centers, the cooperation will enable the generation of high-quality proteomics data for top European researchers. PRIME-XS will improve fundamental technological tools in proteomics and related bioinformatics research. Through well-organized knowledge transfer and extensive training programs these new tools will be widely available to biological and biomedical research communities. As current biological and biomedical research is to a large extent dependent on high-quality proteomics data there is a great sense of urgency to come to a European proteomics research infrastructure. The combined scientific and technological expertise can be used in the joint research activities to facilitate development and advancement of proteomics enabling technologies.


International access

PRIME-XS includes proteomics research infrastructures across Europe, with a track-record in providing (inter)national access. In addition the cooperation comprises a network of associated academic and industrial stakeholders, including all leading proteomics equipment manufacturers. In the formation of the PRIME-XS consortium, a thematically and experienced collection of access providers and research groups has been brought together with a very strong focus on quality and vision.

Source: NPC Highlights, November 2010