A workshop organized at the 2008 Canadian Proteomics Initiative meeting in Vancouver (chaired by Christoph Borchers) named an Organizing Committee for a Canadian proteomics organization (the Canadian National Proteomics Network), and charged it with preparing documents (including bylaws) to form a not-for-profit corporation. This is to be accomplished no later than August 2008. A draft proposal (statement of purpose) dated 11 March 2008, was accepted as modified at the workshop to provide guidance to the Organizing Committee. This 5/9/08 draft document incorporates the approved modifications.
The proteome is the complete set of proteins in a cell, tissue, organism or in fluids such as serum and plasma produced by cells. Proteomics is the biochemical study of proteomes, including quantification of the individual proteins, how they are modified, the interactions between them, their three-dimensional structure and their biological functions, including how they change during development or in response to the environment.
Proteomics research promises unique insight into the causes and treatment of human and animal diseases and into improvement of agricultural products and productivity. In addition, proteomics will address issues involving the quality and safety of food and fiber products and the environment. The proteomics approach to solving biological problems complements and extends genomic approaches to gene discovery and gene function, because it provides direct information about the expression and function of the gene products.
Technical advances in high-throughput protein separations, mass spectrometry, protein structure determinations and bioinformatics have enabled proteomics research to achieve unprecedented power and sophistication. The enabling equipment is commercially available, and research universities across Canada train the highly qualified personnel needed to generate and process suitable samples. However, proteomics is a new field, the equipment is expensive, the associated technologies are rapidly changing, and there is high demand for the limited supply of suitably trained personnel.
Much of Canada's economic future in it's technology base, fueled by research discoveries in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, human health and the environment. Proteomics is a key research area necessary for Canada to realize the potential of its life science based economy.
Recognizing the social and economic benefits to be realized, Canada's leading research institutions have responded in several ways, including a commitment to develop research and training programs in proteomics. Significant investments in personnel and equipment already have been made. However, for proteomics research in Canada to reach its potential for international leadership, an integrated strategy and an effective communications infrastructure are needed to promote the development of a cooperative national research network.
- Be formed as a not-for-profit corporation such as a Federal Society.
- Be inclusive of all Canadian organizations actively conducting proteomics research and education, including experts from universities, government and industry. It will represent expertise in biological applications, methods development, instrumentation and the bioinformatics necessary to process and interpret proteomics data.
- Represent and advocate all areas of proteomics research in all biological systems, including human, animal, plant and microbial systems.
- Provide educational resources for members to incorporate proteomics methods into their projects.
- Optimize researchers' access to the latest proteomics technologies, and.pursue research collaborations (national or international) to keep Canadian proteomics internationally competitive in a rapidly changing environment.
- Coordinate efforts to develop new proteomics technologies to advance the research capability of Canadian researchers, and to achieve greater prominence in the international research community.
- Study and recommend to institutions the most effective methods to prepare students for proteomics research careers, and to build a highly skilled Canadian workforce.
- Help educate Canadian funding agencies, the broader scientific community and the public about the science, the social implications and economic benefits of proteomics research.
- Sponsor Canadian proteomics research conferences to promote scientific exchange among Canadian researchers, and to provide visibility within the general scientific community.
- All members must declare their conflicts of interest.