Our Association and our Mission
Proteomics and metabolomics are new fields of science that are producing exciting advances in biology, biotechnology and medicine. Proteins and metabolites are two classes of biomolecules that are very diverse, so if we are to understand them properly we need to identify and classify thousands of different molecules. Increasingly, scientists are using mass spectrometry as a powerful tool to answer this problem. Proteomics and metabolomics aim to classify the full complement of proteins (proteomics) and metabolites (metabolomics) in living things and study how their patterns change with disease and changes of environment.
Like many fields of science, proteomics and metabolomics is driven by technological change. The methods for studying proteins and metabolites are becoming increasingly powerful but require access to specialised instruments and technical expertise. PMV aims to promote the use of these technologies by fostering a community of Victorian researchers and the scientific vendors that support them. This cross-sector collective encourages its members to share ideas, discuss problems, and develop the technical expertise required so that proteomics and metabolomics can provide productive outcomes for Victorian science.
Our key goals are to:
- hold scientific meetings and workshops to foster cross-sector community and expertise
- Promote the use of this new technology to other Victorian scientists
- disseminate information – to PMV members, students and to the general public
- undertake strategic planning – workforce development, major equipment issues
- foster education and training – high school/VCE, training schemes, and scholarships
The Proteomic/Metabolomic Infrastructure Challenge
Proteomics and metabolomics, like many fields of science, are dependent on research collaborations. Proteomic and metabolomic research projects are built around powerful analytical instruments and the trained staff required to operate them. These core resources require considerable amounts of time and money to establish properly. But beyond this central technology are collaborations with researchers who are asking specific questions that require proteomic and metabolomic answers. These collaborating researchers often bring a deeper understanding of a particular research field and the well developed experimental models required for successful research outcomes. Proteomic and metabolomic research often generate very large data sets, which then require analysis by bioinformaticians that have the required statistical and programming skills to tease information out from the cascades of numerical data. Finally, proteomic and metabolomic data is increasingly being integrated with genomic and transcriptomic data sets, involving collaborations with yet another set of analytical scientists with their own infrastructure challenges.
It is this complex mix of skills and resources and the need to build effective scientific teams that makes organisations such as PMV important for developing the skills and building the collaborative teams of Victorian researchers.
PMV Office Bearers
Metabolomics President: Dr Oliver Jones (RMIT)
Proteomics President: Dr Rohan Steel (Racing Analytical Services Ltd)
Treasurer: Dr Tony Purcell (Monash University)
Secretary: Ms Jessica Pandohee (RMIT)
Education Officer: Dr Daniel Dias (Melbourne University)
Industry Representative: Mr Pat Sacchetta (Waters)
PMV, which became an incorporated association in August 2007, emanated from a network of like-minded proteomics practitioners and trade representatives developed over the preceeding four years. The visible inclusion of metabolomics was spurred by Federal Government funding in 2007 to establish Metabolomics Australia alongside Proteomics Australia, under the National Collaborative Research and Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS)
The PMV initiative can be traced back to 2003 when Mike Hubbard (Melbourne University, Departments of Paediatrics and Pharmacology) moved to Melbourne and saw potential for coordinated growth of the local proteomics sector. Others with similar views were soon identified and, with co-leadership from Ian Smith (Monash University, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology), a cross-sector forum was held to discuss how current strengths might be developed and general problems rectified.
Recognising strategic importance to Victoria and benefits accruing from more efficient use of resources and knowledge sharing, the Government’s Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development (DIIRD) hosted this forum – and afterwards they encouraged establishment of a cross-sector collective, the Victorian Proteomics Consortium (VPC).
With widespread backing from the science and trade communities, Mike and Ian then proceeded to secure a substantial grant from the State Government of Victoria to help fund establishment of the VPC. Additional funds were offered by the founding companies and institutions. As outlined in the timeline below, although NCRIS events delayed implementation of the VPC, its rebirth as PMV with a broader scope and sprightly new leadership (Tony Purcell, Ute Roessner) was well worth the wait.
Key events timeline
- Late 2004, Victorian Proteomics Practitioners group meetings – initial assembly of senior practitioners from academia and industry considering a coordinated, cross-sector approach to growth of their field
- October 2004, start-up grant from University of Melbourne, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Science – to help initiate a cross-sector proteomics network locally
- November 2004, VPC capabilities and infrastructure database established – audit made of practitioners’ expertise, equipment status, and perceived needs
- December 2004, Victorian Proteomics Forum – meeting of over 90 practitioners, stakeholders, suppliers and clients. Hosted by DIIRD. Agreement to form the Victorian Proteomics Consortium (VPC)
- May 2005, inaugural VPC session at the Discovery Science and Biotechnology conference, Melbourne – VPC’s first education event, supported by DIIRD
- June 2005, proteomics added to Victoria’s “skills wanted” list – VPC’s first workforce development event, supported by Victoria’s Skilled Migration Program
- July 2005, concept plan for VPC Technician Training Scheme formulated – draft submitted to DIIRD in support of funding bid to help establish the VPC
- December 2005, Victoria State Government grant received to support establishment of VPC – funding for project officer and other set up costs, supplementing in-kind contributions from Melbourne and Monash Universities and cash contributions from other founding members
- 2005-2006, VPC representations to NCRIS planning meetings – inputs made at State and Federal levels
- June 2007, Victoria State Government funding contract renegotiated in view of NCRIS outcomes – VPC was reborn as PMV
- June 2007, PMV Project Officer (part time) appointed
- July 2007, inaugural PMV working party meeting
- August 2007, PMV was registered as an incorporated association
- June 2008, PMV website test online
- November 2008, PMV and website launched by Victorian Minister of Innovation
Start-up funding (VPP) – Professor James Angus, Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health Sciences, University of Melbourne
Establishment funding and support (VPC, PMV) – State Government of Victoria (special thanks to Xavier Csar, Megan Smart & Philip Marley at DIIRD)
PMV founding institutions and companies – The University of Melbourne, Monash University, Baker Institute, La Trobe University, Metabolomics Australia, Proteomics Australia, St Vincents Institute, Agilent Technologies, AB SCIEX (formerly Applied Biosystems-MDS Sciex), BioRad, Bruker, Dionex, GE Healthcare, Invitrogen, Perkin Elmer, SGE Analytical Science, Shimadzu, Waters
Funding and support for Mike Hubbard – Melbourne Research Unit for Facial Disorders (special thanks to the Director, Andrew Heggie, and principal benefactors, Allan & Maria Myers)
Terms & Conditions
Any information collected for PMV membership will be kept confidential and used only for PMV membership purposes. PMV is a non-profit organisation and will not share any personal or contact details with vendors or other external organisations.
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