With the advancement of available technologies in recent years, researchers are fast becoming aware of the advantages of using proteomics in their research to better understand human biology and disease and to drive pharmaceutical development towards new and improved therapies. Anders Mälarstig, the director of human genetics at Pfizer, came to this realization early on. While he began his research career using genetics to understand cardiovascular disease, he soon turned to proteomics, and specifically protein quantitative trait loci (pQTLs) to take his research one step further. In the following interview, Dr. Mälarstig makes the case for this proteogenomics approach to advance basic and clinical research and speaks to its advantages in the drug discovery and development space.
High-throughput multiplexed proteomic technology is leading the way to the latest developments in pre-clinical disease analysis in drug discovery. The pharmaceutical industry is now increasing its efforts in the discovery of novel drug targets by using protein quantitative trait loci (pQTLs), which allows for a more confident inference of disease causality and associated protein regulation. This has the potential to revolutionize the drug discovery process and a major academia-industry consortium is at the forefront of efforts to do just that.
Advances in genomics have opened the doors to large-scale, high-throughput acquisition of biological data. As a result, our understanding of biology has increased substantially, so much so that this phase in history has been termed the 'DNA revolution'. But what about the workhorses of the body? What more could our proteome reveal? Just as genomics underwent a revolution, proteomics is having its own revolution right now. Introducing Olink Explore 1536, a product created for the screening and discovery of novel protein biomarkers.
To achieve the goal of precision medicine, not only do different molecular profiles need to be understood in disease populations, but they must also be understood in the context of healthy populations. This especially applies to the stability of molecular profiles among healthy individuals over time, as this will clarify what qualifies as a ‘normal range’ of clinical parameters in health and disease research. The following study by Tebani et al. (2020) conducted a longitudinal analysis of the blood profiles from 100 healthy individuals to understand how they varied both between different individuals, and within an individual over time.