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UPDATE: Celera s New Proteomics Chief to Grow Staff, Start Generating Data

This story has been updated from a previous version.

ROCKVILLE, Md, Nov 16 - Scott Patterson said Thursday his first mission as Celera Genomics’ newly appointed senior director of proteomics would be to ramp up staff as he prepares to begin generating proteomics data early next year.

Formerly Amgen's associate director of research and head of its department of biochemistry and genetics, Patterson, 38, is planning to hire 60 new employees, including cell biologists, protein chemists, mass spectrometrists, and LIMS experts. He said Celera would also have to scale up its computational capacity.

In the first stage of operations, Patterson said that Celera’s proteomics team would aim to characterize the “important” proteins for drug-target development. Eventually the company hopes to characterize the entire human proteome.

We’re set up to do many more sets of experiments than one would normally envisage,” Patterson told GenomeWeb. “The scale of the operation attracted me to this position. Celera has the demonstrated ability to do industrial-scale science and an informatics infrastructure.”

Patterson said the data would help to add value to the Celera Discovery System. Celera will also seek out exclusive proteomics partnerships with big pharma.

Patterson said the proteomics center would use Applied Biosystem’s latest MALDI TOF/TOF mass spectrometers as well as chromatography and electrospray technologies. Patterson will also evaluate Ruedi Aebersold’s isotope coded affinity tags technology, although he said it still required more work from Applied Biosystems, which has the license.

Proof of principle studies are expected by the end of this year, Patterson said.

Craig Venter, Celera’s president and CSO, said that Patterson’s expertise would help to strengthen Celera and to lead the company into new business areas.

“We look forward to using his expertise to enhance Celera’s proteomics efforts as we move beyond building reference databases toward comparative genomics and personalized medicine,” Venter said in a statement.

Patterson is credited with developing Amgen’s proteomics program as well as its mouse genetics platforms. Before joining Amgen, Patterson was an investigator at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He received a PhD in physiology at the University of Queensland in Australia in 1989.

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