RESEARCH NEWS

Proteomics campaign seeks to overcome experimental challenges

31 July 2008



The Fixing Proteomics Campaign has enhanced its online practical advice on how to improve the quality of experiments and make cross-lab reproducibility possible. Its website now includes protocols from the HUPO Reproducibility Study, as well as a four-step approach to fixing proteomics.

Fixing Proteomics is a non-commercial, technique-independent campaign dedicated to solving experimental challenges that stop proteomics delivering on its potential. Website content is provided by voluntary contributions from key people in the field. 

Cross-lab reproducibility is fundamental to advancing science because it enables scientists to build on the work of others. Fixing Proteomics is passionate about this and would believes taht if results are not reproducible across labs then they should not be published. Proteomics experiments are complex so to get the most from your experiments; reproducibility must be included in the experimental design from the start. The ability to achieve cross-lab reproducibility in proteomics is a reality, having been successfully demonstrated by the HUPO Reproducibility Study. The protocols used in this collaboration are available via the Fixing Proteomics website, offering everyone the potential to improve the quality of experiments and make cross-lab reproducibility a possibility.

The four-step approach to fixing proteomics also provides a practical approach to improving the quality of proteomics experiments and form a key part of the Fixing Proteomics message. They allow users to build up to cross-lab reproducibility by first assessing system performance using appropriate standards before adopting the second step of running pilot experiments. These pilot experiments inform users what’s needed to reach the third step, generating conclusive confirmatory experiments. From here users can choose the fourth and final step of confirming the results across-labs. This complete approach delivers results that others can build upon and help proteomics realise its potential.

Dr Kathryn Lilley, facility group leader of the Cambridge Centre for Proteomics, University of Cambridge, and a campaign founder, said: 'One of the most important steps in any proteomics study is the experimental design - get it wrong and huge amounts of resources may wasted.  Creating a suitable experimental design depends on many factors and one of these is most definitely how well the experimental procedures are executed and hence reproducibility. This website not only provides useful information on how to improve reproducibility, but also suggestions of what to think about when designing a quantitative proteomics experiment.'

Related internet links

Fixing Proteomics Campaign