Last week I attended the Proteomic Forum Berlin, held every 2 years at the Freie Universität in the Dahlem district of Berlin. Despite the snowy weather around 400 participants attended the many talks and social events over five days.
The meeting is full of presentations and posters that reflect the high concentration of PhD students, post-doctoral students and group leaders involved in proteomics within Germany. It also has a strong international flavour with talks by high-profile researchers and visitors from USA, China, Japan and Korea as well as countries across Europe.
A large amount of the program was dedicated to help anyone starting out in proteomics projects. Educational lectures, “doctor’s office” sessions and a news corner session provided direct access to experts in a particular technology as well as giving researchers and companies the chance to share results and developments. Our main educational focus was sharing the new features added to Progenesis LC-MS with many users, in particular those from Europe and the USA. The new automated data processing steps with quality assurance measures were of strong interest to core facility users, with the time saving and ease-of-use it gives them or their end-users.
Breaks in sessions gave our customers the chance to visit our booth and see the latest developments with Progenesis CoMet, for metabolomics, and Progenesis LC-MS, for proteomics.
The program and poster sessions
The meeting started on Sunday, the 17th March, with a full-day workshop on the activities and current challenges facing the HUPO Chromosome-Centric Human Proteome Project. This included updates from each of the teams who are focussed on identifying and quantifying the proteins from 25 human chromosomes, which is really starting to build momentum now. The rest of the meeting covered different topics each day, including; moving from protein inventories to assigning functions, proteomics applied to human health, proteomics in biology and biotechnology ending with a half day on understanding protein function and systems biology to put results in a broader context. Our customers, many of them from Germany, were represented at least once in each session and in the accompanying poster sessions each day.
The poster sessions were busy with only 2 hours each day to see around 100 posters before they were replaced by another 100 the following day. This meant over 300 posters were shown over 3 days, so it was a challenge to see them all. I was able to take a little more time to review the posters whilst it was quiet during some of the main sessions. A noticeable number of posters were dedicated to projects that used MALDI imaging, showing how this technology is being used in many early stage research projects.
However, the biggest share of posters related to labelled or label-free LC-MS for quantitative proteomics or identification of proteins of interest. There was a significant increase in the number of posters citing label-free LC-MS, almost twice as many as those that cited labelled approaches, compared to previous meetings. Progenesis LC-MS and the TransOmics™ Informatics software, supplied by Waters and powered by Nonlinear Dynamics, were visible on 15 posters. Methods using 2D gels were also surprisingly well represented. Those that named the software used included 5 references to Progenesis SameSpots. We had our own poster, which highlighted using both Progenesis SameSpots and Progenesis LC-MS to maximise proteome coverage of C. japonicas, a soil bacteria with applications in biofuel production.
Where you can you meet us next?
The current list of exhibitions and meetings is here. We hope to see you there, but if you’re not planning on attending any of these meetings and wish to see the Progenesis software in action, please contact us.