Our Proteomics core facility at faculty of Health, Aarhus University is equipped with state-of-the-art mass spectrometry suitable for many types of studies in biochemistry and translational medicine.

The proteomics research is focused on molecular disease mechanisms and biomarker discovery, for example within mitochondrial inherited disorders and diabetes. Another arm of research is chemical proteomics, studying how chemicals can modify proteins specifically.

  1. In comparative proteomics a large number of proteins (thousands) are identified and quantified in for example patients vs healthy controls. The technical strategies include protein quantitation using labels (SILAC, TMT, iTRAQ) or label-free quantification
  2. Targeted analysis of panels of proteins performed either by 1) robust quantification of panels of selected proteins by mass spectrometry, for example biomarker panels for a certain disease or 2) Luminex XMAP with antibody based kits is applied for sensitive detection of eg blood proteins, such as inflammatory markers (cytokines, interleukins).
  3. Genetic variants of proteins are studied by mass spectrometry to find out the effect of inherited genetic defects (eg missense mutations) at the protein level.
  4. Data on chemical modifications of proteins describe how metabolites/ small molecules can modify proteins and their activities.

Examples of projects

Mitochondrial proteomics: Mitochondria are regulating energy supply as well as stress response in the cells and are thus important for many health disorders. We perform mitochondrial proteomics to quantitatively determine which mitochondrial proteins are altered in cells from patients compared to healthy controls. Ongoing projects focus on mitochondrial metabolism of fatty acids, branched chain amino acids and the gaseous regulator sulfide.

Chemical Proteomics: We study how bioactive molecules and novel synthetic reagents modify proteins. We investigate, for example, the proteome-wide target profiles of novel compounds as well as their specific reaction sites, by combining advanced chemistry and high-end protein mass spectrometry.  

Oxygen deprivation in newborns can cause serious damage leading to brain damage (Hypoxic- ischemic encephalopathy). Proteomics is applied on samples from patients in the search of plasma biomarkers which can be used to improve prognosis of symptoms.

Diabetes and metabolic syndrome: Samples from patients (blood, muscle biopsies) or model systems (heart tissue) are used to study alterations in the levels of enzymes and other proteins to better understand the effects of the disease and of treatment.

These and other projects are open for collaboration and as student projects (bachelor or master).  

Contact: Johan Palmfeldt, PhD. Assoc Prof