I should probably start by introducing myself since this is my first blog post. My name is Agnès Corbin and I am part of the Sales team at Nonlinear. I am based just outside of Paris, France but my role takes me to many other places in Europe, including Italy which is where I spent most of last week as I attended the 5th Annual National Conference of the Italian Proteomics Association (ItPA).
This year it was held in the beautiful city of Florence, and lucky me, the weather was really nice if a bit too hot with 34 degrees Celsius! As the meeting was held in the Chiostra Grande di Santa Maria Novella, which is an historical building, there was no air conditioning – but fortunately the really interesting talks managed to distract us from the searing heat!
On Thursday morning, I attended the talk of a customer of ours, Professor Stephen Pennington of the UCD Conway Institute of Bimolecular and Biomedical Research in Dublin, Ireland. This presentation was about 2D, MS and biomarker discovery. Stephen noted that in some cases biomarker discovery research can provide a better understanding of the mechanisms some proteins play in a diseases. Anyway, Stephen’s group have used a label-free approach for their most recent studies, they investigated several different analysis software, 5 open source software packages and our Progenesis LC-MS software. As you can imagine, I was delighted to hear their conclusions that between all these software approaches, for us Progenesis LC-MS has been the most effective. They are still using Progenesis LC-MS for several other projects, including prostate cancer and inflammatory arthritis biomarker discovery. They are using new statistical tools to identify panels of biomarkers and are progressing them to MRM’s for further studies…! It was really great to see how much the Progenesis LC-MS software is helping him in their research, and really making a difference.
I managed to have a quick chat with Stephen after his presentation, and he was telling me about some interesting comparisons they have been working on using 2D gels and LC-MS. At the protein level they found a high level of reproducibility between DIGE and LC-MS experiments – undertaken at different times – up to 80% correspondence. Both approaches also give complementary (different) information, so provided gels and LC-MS runs are reproducible, you can get more information by combining LC-MS and 2D data. But of course this is made easier if you’re analysing your data using Progenesis software!
So I now need to continue to catch up with all my work after my week in Florence. It was really great to meet up with some of our Italian customers, and I look forward to making another trip to Italy in the not too distant future. The next conference for me is a lot closer to home – it’s the SFEAP meeting held in Marseille on the 6th – 8th Sept 2010. Marseille is also a wonderful place to visit – it’s a tough job sometimes 🙂