Fourteen months after the first formal discussion about its formation (see ProteoMonitor 9/10/2004), the European Proteomics Association has elected its leaders and established committees, which will present their activities in two weeks at the Swiss Proteomics Society meeting in Zurich.
Max Planck Institute's Friedrich Lottspeich is the new president of EuPA. He was elected to a three-year term at a EuPA meeting in Munich in August that coincided with the Human Proteome Organization Congress.
Other EuPA leaders who were elected in August are Mathias Uhlen, the vice president; Michael Dunn, the coordinator for EuPA-HUPO interactions; Concha Gil, the coordinator for education; Jean Charles Sanchez, the coordinator for congresses and communication; and Pier Giorgio Righetti, the coordinator for funding.
Uhlen is based at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden; Dunn is at the University College Dublin; Gil is at the Complutense University of Madrid; Sanchez is at the University of Geneva; and Pier Giorgio Righetti is at the Polytechnic Institute of Milan.
Lottspeich said that so far, EuPA has concentrated mainly on establishing its structural organization and its mission. It has not yet addressed any kind of collaborative research projects on which EuPA members can work together.
"Most of the work EuPA should do is in networking," said Lottspeich, who is the head of protein analytics at the Max Planck Instiute of Biochemistry. "We're trying to build up proteomics in Europe, but we don't want to build up a big administrative body. The real major impact is to strengthen the national societies."
"Most of the work EuPA should do is in networking. We're trying to build up proteomics in Europe, but we don't want to build up a big administrative body. The real major impact is to strengthen the national societies."
At the moment, there are 16 national societies in EuPA: the Swiss Proteomics Society; the French Electrophoresis and Proteomics Society; the Netherlands Proteomics Platform; the Swedish Proteomics Society; the Danish Proteomics Society; the Hungarian Proteomics Society; the Czech Proteomics Society; the German Proteome Society; the Norwegian Proteomics Society; the Portuguese Proteomics Network; the Spanish Proteomics Society; the Italian HUPO & Italian Proteomic Society; the Hellenic Proteomics Society; the British Proteomics Society; the Finnish Proteomics Society; and the Austrian Proteomics Network.
One member of each society belongs to the general council of EuPA, which is the voting body of the organization.
"There is a need for European countries to build such an association because the single proteomics societies are underequipped to act on the European level. They are all not big enough to work on the European level," said Lottspeich. "We have to speak with one voice to get the attention that we need."
The four committees of EuPA that were established in Munich are the Eu-HUPO committee, which aims to act as a the European coordinator for HUPO activities; the education committee, which aims to hold workshops where proteomics knowledge from all member countries will be shared; the congress/communication committee, which aims to build up a network of communication via a EuPA website and other activities; and the funding committee, which aims to get some money from industry, as well as to collect a membership fee from each national society.
The EuPA membership fee will amount to €2 ($2.35) per member.
At the one-day EuPA meeting in Zurich, which will take place on Dec. 5, the leaders of each committee will present their work plans.
"At that time, we will discuss what can be done, what should be done. Can we do some more global projects? How will we interface with HUPO? How can we distribute some educational materials?" said Lottspeich.
"There is a need for European countries to build such an association because the single proteomics societies are underequipped to act on the European level. They are all not big enough to work on the European level. We have to speak with one voice to get the attention that we need."
Lottspeich said that the Zurich meeting would probably not be the time that member proteomics societies will discuss scientific projects with which they are involved. However, committee members might set up a future meeting during which such scientific topics will be presented and discussed.
"There's hardly anyone that knows what's going on in all of these countries," said Lottspeich. "I myself don't know the national activities sufficiently to know what's really going on in detail."
Lottspeich noted that EuPA is different from national branches of HUPO such as US-HUPO and the Korean K-HUPO because it does not focus only on human proteomics.
"With European societies it's rather different," said Lottspeich. "There's a lot of plant activities, a lot of microbiology, and a lot of things that are not concentrating on humans that don't really fit within HUPO. That's why we said, 'OK, we'll make a body that can take over this role as a HUPO representative, but that will be only part of our duties.'"
As a leader of the German Proteome Society as well as EuPA, Lottspeich said that one of the things that the German Proteome Society would like to do is to disseminate information on its activities to other EuPA members, both from academia and from industry.
"I think education and networking are something that all proteomics societies would like to do," said Lottspeich. "It's something that we think is very difficult for a single country to manage on a European level. We need to coordinate our ambitions and to coordinate our networking."
— Tien-Shun Lee ([email protected])