DEC 14, 2016 09:00 AM PST

Beyond Sequencing: Population Analysis in an Era of Mass Spectrometry Proteomics

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  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETHZ), Zurich, Switzerland, Laboratory of Ruedi Aebersold
      Evan Williams obtained his bachelor's degree in Bioengineering at Rice University in 2009 and his doctorate in Bioengineering at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in 2015. At the EPFL, Evan worked in the laboratory of Johan Auwerx on the population genetics of metabolism and gene-environment interactions in the BXD reference population. His doctoral thesis, which was recognized as one of the best three theses of 2015 across the EPFL, applied multiple omics approaches, including proteomics, to identify several novel gene-phenotype links, both for rare Mendelian-type metabolic diseases and for complex metabolic diseases such as type II diabetes. This latter research identified novel targets, including one now being pursued pharmaceutically. Since 2013, Evan has been using mass spectrometry proteomics to develop hypotheses and expand the analysis of complex metabolic processes and diseases in large and genetically-diverse populations. In 2016, Evan joined the group of Prof. Ruedi Aebersold at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETHZ), where he currently works on implementing and expanding the capacity of SWATH-MS proteomics as applied to population analysis. Evan's primary projects now focus on the integration of omics datasets derived from the combination of quantitative data on the genome, transcriptome, metabolome, and phenome.


    DATE: December 14, 2016
    TIME: 9:00 AM PT, 12:00 PM ET

    Microarrays and nucleotide sequencers have become commonplace tools in current research, yet until now, equivalent technologies for providing measurements of the proteome and metabolome have remained elusive. Recent developments in mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics, including SWATH-MS, are now permitting reliable, high-speed, and accurate quantification of thousands of proteins across hundreds of samples. The disparities between mRNA and protein regulation have long been known, but only now can we reliably quantify the proteome’s complementary perspective on cellular mechanics. We have applied SWATH-MS, along with transcriptomics, across a diverse population to uncover new insights on mitochondrial protein localization and the stoichiometry of oxidative phosphorylation.
    Learning Objective 1: See how proteomics can help us understand natural genetic variation across populations 

    Learning Objective 2: Understand why proteomics is now a viable addition to DNA and RNA sequencing projects 

    Learning Objective 3: Consider proteomics as a mature technology, ready for mainstream biologists

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