FRAMINGHAM, Mass. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Human Proteome Organization (HUPO) will award Christie Hunter, Ph.D, director of proteomics applications at AB SCIEX, its 2013 Science and Technology Award at an award ceremony during next week’s HUPO 2013 conference in Japan. Dr. Hunter is being recognized for her contributions to the development and commercialization of a breakthrough approach for targeted proteomics. The analytical strategy of targeted proteomics was recently named “Method of the Year” by Nature Methods.
Christie Hunter, Ph.D, wins award for proteomics research, helps drive innovation at AB SCIEX. (Photo: Business Wire)
Targeted proteomics is a standardized, biological research workflow that focuses on reproducibly quantifying a specific subset of proteins within a sample. It generates data that is vital for biologists to answer hypothesis-driven, biological questions.
A decade ago, proteomics research was dominated by discovery workflows, which provided valuable information on a single sample but lacked the reproducibility to generate robust quantitation across a larger sample set. New innovation was needed at the time to move the field beyond simply producing large lists of identified proteins and toward providing highly quantitative answers.
This led to the development of a multiple reaction monitoring (MRM)-triggered, tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) workflow at AB SCIEX to rapidly create high sensitivity MRM assays to target peptides that are unique to their associated proteins. This workflow was made possible by the combination of triple quadrupole and linear ion trap functionality in a single system called the AB SCIEX QTRAP® System.
Dr. Hunter ‒ in collaboration with researcher Dr. Leigh Anderson, the founder of the Plasma Proteome Institute and head of SISCAPA Assay Technologies ‒ pioneered a workflow that applied MRM to the targeted quantification of proteins and peptides in plasma by mass spectrometry. In their initial publication1, Dr. Hunter and Dr. Anderson demonstrated that a targeted workflow could be applied to multiplexed quantitation of proteins in human plasma with high reproducibility and high confidence in the results.
The impact of the paper resulted in broad adoption of the MRM technique around the world to accelerate the verification and validation of putative protein biomarkers, generating more than 800 citations, according to Google Scholar. Less than a decade after this important work, most proteomics laboratories today use a triple quadrupole-based mass spectrometer to perform MRM analysis.
“We congratulate Dr. Christie Hunter on receiving such a prestigious award from HUPO in recognition of her significant contributions to the rise of targeted proteomics as a viable technique to advance biomarker research,” said Dave Hicks, Vice President and General Manager of the Pharmaceutical and Academic Business at AB SCIEX.
“Dr. Hunter and her AB SCIEX colleagues continue to participate in exciting collaborations with leading proteomics researchers around the world to drive new innovations in software, chemistries and instrumentation that further expand quantitative proteomics workflows for the growing community of mass spectrometry users at large,” added Hicks.
Currently, Dr. Hunter is playing a pivotal role in the development of higher specificity workflows for targeted protein quantitation to overcome situations where sensitivity is limited by interferences or background. She is involved in the investigation of the utility of differential mobility separations for added selectivity of quantitation of peptides in complex mixtures. She is also working to enhance data-independent acquisition strategies, such as SWATH™ Acquisition, for quantitative proteomics to increase the multiplexing and reproducibility that can be achieved in a single experiment.
About AB SCIEX
AB SCIEX helps to improve the world we live in by enabling scientists and laboratory analysts to push the limits in their field and address the complex analytical challenges they face. The company’s global leadership and world-class service and support in the mass spectrometry industry have made it a trusted partner to thousands of the scientists and lab analysts worldwide who are focused on basic research, drug discovery and development, food and environmental testing, forensics and clinical research. With 30 years of proven innovation, AB SCIEX excels by listening to and understanding the ever-evolving needs of its customers to develop reliable, sensitive and intuitive solutions that continue to redefine what is achievable in routine and complex analysis. For more information about the company, go to www.absciex.com. Follow AB SCIEX on Twitter @ABSCIEX, Facebook and LinkedIn.
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1 Anderson L, Hunter CL. (2006) Quantitative Mass Spectrometric MRM Assays for Major Plasma Proteins. Molecular Cellular Proteomics 5.4, 573-588.