Our understanding of health and disease has advanced rapidly in the 21st century and owes much to powerful DNA and RNA sequencing technologies. Yet we still face numerous challenges, such as identifying causal disease mechanisms that cannot be resolved by such sequencing technologies. Rather, we need methods that can directly analyze the main actors in health and disease – proteins – at single-cell resolution and with high-throughput.
Around the pioneering framework developed in the laboratory of Professor Nikolai Slavov, PTI has nucleated a team of talented scientists, engineers, mathematicians and operations specialists that will fundamentally change how proteomics data is generated and analyzed in order to help determine the causes of diseases.
PTI is set up as a nonprofit focused research organization to freely share its technology and discoveries and thus maximize their benefits to the research community, biotech, and patients.
PTI has a well-resourced, open-science environment to enable scientists, engineers, and mathematicians to catalyze a leap in protein analysis technology and use it to explore new biological frontiers. This means that members of PTI will be supported with industry-level resources to do research and then disseminate their discoveries and innovations to the broader biomedical community through frequent publications, presentations, and submissions to public data portals.
For decades, protein detection in single cells has relied on affinity reagents (such as antibodies) and as a consequence has been limited in sensitivity, specificity and throughput. In the recent past, we have demonstrated the utility of mass spectrometry in the context of single-cell proteomics. With liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), the top one-third most abundant proteins of the proteome in a mammalian cell can be quantified based on methods that we have introduced. This proteome depth is likely to be increased through the combination of deep learning and increased sensitivity of commercial instruments. In addition to depth of proteome coverage, mass spectrometers enable extremely accurate measurements of proteins. Single-cell analyses using MS have demonstrated the sampling of 20-fold more copies per gene, when contrasted with state-of-the-art single-cell RNA sequencing techniques. With such high accuracy and increasingly higher depth of proteome coverage, we can be more confident in our ultimate biological conclusions.
PTI will enable this next leap in biomedical research by:
(i) Rapidly developing and deploying proteomic technologies that increase throughput by parallel multiplexing of both samples and proteins and
(ii) Providing a general experimental and computational platform for quick adoption and demonstration of this technology and related offshoots for the broader biomedical research community.
Software and data
Blood and Aging