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HUPO Establishes Paid Secretariat in Montreal

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The Human Proteome Organization has established a paid, five-person secretariat based in Montreal to administer and raise money for the organization. The creation of the group will cost Montreal International, the city’s economic development arm, $62,500 over five years for hosting the headquarters in the city.

“Our role is to serve as a catalyst to promote the whole proteomics community,” said Paul Stinson, the director general of HUPO and a member of the secretariat in an interview at the fifth international conference of the Canadian Proteomics Initiative, held in Toronto. “We want to serve as a catalyst for international funding.” Stinson was hired in October by HUPO president John Bergeron.

Members of HUPO international’s secretariat, which was established April 1, are paid largely by the organization itself. In addition, Montreal International, the economic development arm of the city of Montreal, has agreed to pay each member of the secretariat $2,500 every year for five years as an incentive for maintaining the HUPO headquarters in Montreal.

Other members of the secretariat include Wehbeh Barghachie, the congress director and project manager; Elizabeth Cooper, the communications and industry liaison manager; Sandrine Palcy, the training coordinator; and Sylvie Ouellette, the membership and administration coordinator. All members of the new HUPO secretariat are Canadian, except for Palcy, who is French.

Stinson carried a thick book in his briefcase that detailed HUPO’s strategic business plan outlining some of the other short-term goals of the secretariat. For example, by July 1, the group aims to secure a strategic partnership with a conference organizer, such as CHI; by Oct. 15, the group aims to develop a “young professionals” exchange program that will enable graduate and post-graduate students, as well as industry scientists under 35 years old, to work abroad; and on Dec. 15, the group plans to hold its annual planning and evaluation roundtable.

— Tien-Shun Lee

 

PATENT WATCH

US Patent 6,903,334. High throughput ion source for MALDI mass spectrometry. Inventors: Alexander Makarov, Anatoli Verentchikov. Assignee: Thermo Finnigan. Issued: June 7, 2005.

The patent covers mass spectrometers, ion sources, and methods for providing and transporting analyte ions derived from a sample to ion optics. A matrix-protecting interface is located between the sample plate and the ion optics, and configured such that the shortest travel path between the illuminated portion of the sample plate and the sampling aperture or input of the ion optics is substantially obstructed.

 

US Patent 6,902,936. Acid-labile isotope-coded extractant (ALICE) and its use in quantitative mass spectrometric analysis of protein mixtures. Inventors: Yongchang Qiu, Jack Wang, Rodney Hewick. Assignee: Genentics Institute. Issued: June 7, 2005.

The method of the invention provides novel compounds, termed acid-labile isotope-coded extractants (ALICE), for quantitative mass spectrometric analysis of protein mixtures. The compounds contain a thiol-reactive group that is used to capture cysteine-containing peptides from all peptide mixtures, an acid-labile linker, and a non-biological polymer.

 

The University of Massachusetts Medical School has established a proteomics facility that brings together the school’s proteomics and mass spectrometry facilities, resources from Charles River Laboratories’ old proteomics facility, and bioinformatics tools from the nonprofit Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives.

 

HealthLinx of Melbourne, Australia, will use Bruker Daltonics’ mass spectrometry-based protein biomarker platform to develop in vitro diagnostic tests for both research and clinical diagnostics.

 

GenoLogics of Victoria, Canada, will provide open-source software from the Institute of Systems Biology as part of its ProteusLIMS lab information management system for proteomics.

 

Hybrigenics, a Paris-based protein pathways-analysis company, has received global quality certification for its proteomics services.

 

The Universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Dundee have been awarded an £11 million grant from the UK government to help fund their proteomics research.

 

IBM and Indigo BioSystems are co-developing a public proteomics database using IBM’s hardware and Indigo’s archiving technology that will contain raw human proteomics data from a variety of instruments formatted according to HUPO’s Proteomics Standards Initiative.

Datapoint

33

As a result of a funding crisis at Canada’s non-profit Blueprint Initiative, the organization laid off 33 people, around half of its staff, in early May as it faces the expiration of its primary grant from Genome Canada on June 30.

 

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