Accomplishments and discoveries from VGN students and faculty

Proteomics Facility Update

By Ying Wai Lam, PhD
Director, VGN Proteomics Facility

The VGN Proteomics facility has been serving our network investigators with the goal of providing the latest technology and comprehensive expertise to enhance research capacities and to establish an educational environment for sharing experience and knowledge in proteomics. Some of our exciting achievements over the years are highlighted below:

  • Since its inception in 2006, the facility has analyzed over 15,000 samples (Fig. A), and has helped investigators publish their findings in more than 70 peer-reviewed publications (Fig. B). More than 20 federal (e.g. NIH, DOD) and non-federal grants have been awarded to our collaborators with our proteomics support.
  • We have provided expertise to more than 100 network investigators (from > 10 UVM departments and BPIs) as well as outside users. Upward trends are observed in user numbers, including faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate students (Fig. C). We have featured some of their successful stories in this newsletter as well as previous issues – feel free to check them out at
  • In addition to presenting proteomics modules with the Outreach Core to BPI undergraduate students, the facility has been working closely with 8 BPI faculty to develop new projects by leveraging our proteomics expertise. Drs. Hinkle, Lamos and Wuorinen spent some time this past summer at the facility to further develop their VGN funded projects and to generate preliminary data for extramural funding applications.
  • We have established our reputation and impact beyond the state of Vermont over the years by collaborating with researchers from institutes in multiple states (e.g. Jackson Laboratories; Dartmouth Medical School, University of Cincinnati; University of Connecticut; University of Mississippi; University of Massachusetts; Johns Hopkins University, Miami University, MD Anderson Cancer Center; Stanford University, Albert Einstein Medical School, and Brigham Young University) as well as in foreign countries (e.g. Europe and Argentina). Some of these collaborative efforts have been presented at national and international meetings, as well as in publications.

Specifically, we have enhanced our capacities in the following areas over this past year:

Establishing Proteomics Workflows We have developed a number of sample preparation workflows to characterize the networks of protein expression, post-translational modifications (e.g., phosphorylation, acetylation) and protein interactomes in complex protein mixtures. In order to enrich students’ learning experience, we are now offering closely supervised opportunities to interested individuals to carry out these experiments as well as to operate the sophisticated mass spectrometry instrumentation.

Data Analysis To efficiently handle increasingly complicated proteomic analyses; we have been working closely with the Bioinformatics Core to build new software capabilities that are housed in our Data Processing room (MLS 333). Many undergraduate and graduate students have mentioned that they benefited from analyzing their own data and enjoyed the dynamic interactions with the facility personnel!

Undergraduate Student Training. The facility has been working with several faculty from the departments of Biology, Plant Biology and Biochemistry at UVM. These faculty have successfully incorporated proteomics into their courses and laboratory curricula (PBIO 187, BIOC 207, BIO 205) aimed at equipping future scientists with state-of-the-art proteomics knowledge. Facility personnel have also given guest proteomics lectures on specific topics for a number of undergraduate and graduate UVM and BPI courses.

Our future goals are to continue providing cutting-edge expertise to network investigators as well as developing and strengthening our interactions with BPI faculty. We will be focusing on developing methodologies to target areas that represent the frontiers in proteomics applications and the future needs from our investigators. As we are exploring new collaboration opportunities with network investigators, we would love to hear from you about your research project! We want to help you solve challenging problems and will work hard to develop the best strategies to answer your proteomics questions. We look forward to working with you soon!

Contact Information:

Vermont Genetics Network
University of Vermont
120A Marsh Life Science Building
Burlington, VT 05405-0086
(802) 656-9119
(802) 656-2914 - FAX

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