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Ramping up for Operation, TGen Hires Director for New Proteomics Facility

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The Translational Genomics Research Institute has hired Konstantinos Petritis as the first head of its new Center for Proteomics, which is expected to become operational during the summer.

The center, which will be based in Phoenix, will play a "significant" role in the Partnership for Personalized Medicine's development of targeted treatments for patients with cancer and other debilitating conditions, TGen said in a statement.

PPM is an alliance formed in 2007 between TGen, Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Construction of the proteomics center is almost completed, according to TGen, and equipment installations are expected to begin in June.

The proteomics center is an industrial-scale proteomics biomarker discovery, verification, and validation facility. It initially will focus on the discovery and validation of biomarkers in support of the Luxembourg Project Lung Cancer, one of three collaborative projects TGen has with that country. The other two projects are the Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg, and the Center for Systems Biology Luxembourg, which will track the genetic basis of diseases and develop protein-based tests.

Petritis comes to TGen from Pacific Northwest National laboratory where he was a senior research scientist in the Biological Separations and Mass Spectrometry/Proteomics group in PNNL's Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory.

Petritis began his career at Vioryl, a chemical and agricultural firm based near Athens, Greece.

According to Lee Hartwell, president and director of the Hutch, and executive committee chairman of PPM, the hiring of Petritis "adds a completely new capability to the already extraordinary capacities of TGen to do complex studies across the spectrum of disease-related biological molecules."

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