The Proteomics Laboratory for Clinical and Translational Research is dedicated to the development of proteomic methods for disease diagnosis / prognosis and the identification of novel bio-signature and therapeutic candidate molecules of human disease. This approach additionally holds the potential for developing personalized medicine by defining the differences of each patient’s proteomic signature. This research will provide a molecular level insight which might be applied to overcome current clinical challenges.
One of our research goals is the understanding of molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways related to human disease. Specifically, we have established Omics approaches to investigate the alteration of biological molecules such as proteins and lipids in various biomedical specimens including blood plasma, tissue lysates, urine, cerebral spinal fluids (CSF), saliva, amniotic fluids, etc. The current research focus is directed towards the development of a systems biology approach to the identification and quantification of proteins, lipids, and other biomolecules associated with the processes of neurological inflammation and demyelination in the brain. In addition, our laboratory employs selected reaction monitoring using UPLC-tandem mass spectrometry as well as luminex immunoassay technologies to successfully quantify neuronal biomolecules from brain tissue, circulating exosomes, saliva, CSF, and blood plasma using a minute quantity of specimen.
The laboratory is also engaged in research directed toward disease biomarker discovery using clinical tissues and body fluids. We have established protocols for efficient subcellular fractionation of proteins from tissue samples, and protocols are constantly under development for in-depth proteomic studies of biological fluids and tissues. These protocols extend the dynamic range of sensitivity of mass spectrometric analysis by reducing the interference of the highly abundant proteins inherent in these samples. Using these strategies, we have identified molecular protein signatures of both Pancreatic and Hepatocellular Carcinoma. These proteins are now being further investigated in the laboratory for use as diagnostic and therapeutic molecular targets and to further understand the molecular mechanisms underlying these devastating diseases. Additionally, the laboratory has developed protocols for sensitive diagnosis of disorders of iron metabolism, such as hemochromatosis, utilizing hepcidin peptide quantification in urine and blood. The laboratory is also involved in various collaborations with biomedical researchers at the state, national and international level. Within Carolinas HealthCare System and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, collaborations include investigations into the proteomic profiling of articular cartilage, prediction and identification of transcription factors, proteomic profiling of MUC1 knockout mice, and the proteomic study of pulmonary embolism. For more information regarding collaborations in this laboratory, go to the Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Core Facility information.
Sun-il Hwang, PhD, Director
Kimberly Q. McKinney, MS, Senior Research Analyst
Jin-Gyun Lee, PhD, Post Doctoral Research Fellow
Antonis Pavlopoulos, Research Tech II
Contact Information: Sun-il Hwang, PhD