Speed and Sensitivity of PNNL’s Proteome Express Leads to R&D 100 Award


R&D Magazine selected a new mass-spectrometer-based system entitled FT-MS Proteome Express for one of its top 100 most promising new products, processes, materials, or software for 2003. Developed by Dr. Richard D. Smith of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), the FT-MS (Fourier-transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer) Proteome Express system is an automated, ultra-high resolution combined separation and mass-spectrometric system that can identify and quantify the abundance of large and complex proteins in any organism at any time. This information is the key to understanding molecular-level cell function and disease progression, treatment, and prevention. In experiments at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) user facility, located in Richland, Washington, the FT-MS Proteome Express system demonstrated more than 100-fold improvements in speed and sensitivity over current methods, and it has been used in projects that range from how microorganisms absorb atmospheric carbon to how certain viral proteins cause blindness.