Matthias Mann – Protein analysis to diagnose disease (ceremony)

Matthias Mann – Protein analysis to diagnose disease (ceremony)


The future is happening now. By analysing the human proteome, that is the
set of all the proteins, we will be able to detect and diagnose diseases much better than
before. 20 years ago people thought it was enough
to study the genome of an organism, but the genome is largely fixed at birth, so it doesn´t
change over the life course of an organism. But now we know it’s really in the proteome
where all the action happens. Like with this creatures: they have the same
genome, but very different proteomes. It´s clear which tells you more about the
real shape of the organisms. Over the last 25 years I have been working
on methods to analyse the proteome. What we do is, we take the proteins from the
patients and we chop them up into small pieces called peptides and those peptides get separated
on very fine columns. At the end of those columns they are electrosprayed
and they are brought into a mass spectrometer where they are counted and identified by fragmenting
them. For the quantification we use the SILAC method
and this introduces a subtle mass shift by heavy isotopes and with this we can perfectly
quantify the proteins. We use a clinical knowledge graph to map them
onto known diseases. So what we want is to reach the patient, to
benefit the patient and for this we need to interest industry, and they need a patent,
otherwise they won´t invest. What we hope to develop with the proteomics
is like a powerful radar where we can see precisely the disease that given patient has,
how that should be treated and whether the treatment has an effect. So instead of flying blind, we’re flying
with a very powerful radar. Our dream is that this will be the future
of medicine

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