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Beyond DNA: the importance of proteins in human disease

Beyond DNA: the importance of proteins in human disease

Learn about the impact of new tools for examining proteins and how different forms of proteins can affect human health

Recorded Tuesday, September 12, noon-1:00pm  (CT)

Northwestern University’s Corporate Engagement team offered a webinar on proteoforms and the Human Proteoform Project led by Dr. Neil Kelleher, the Walter and Mary Elizabeth Glass Professor in the Life Sciences and Director of The Chemistry of Life Processes Institute at Northwestern University.

Who Should Participate   

Business and academic leaders interested in learning more about the cutting-edge technologies surrounding systematic proteoform mapping and how this knowledge can be applied to promote human health.


Analysis of whole protein molecules provides the ability to examine protein sequences, mutations, and modifications in unprecedented detail. Proteoforms—the different molecular forms in which a protein can be found—capture all sources of protein variability (i.e., isoforms, SNPs, post-translational modifications, etc.), and thus provide crucial insights into biological function of a protein by connecting primary sequence and post-translational modifications. Top-down proteomics is rapidly gaining attention in biomedicine and biotechnology for its ability to characterize proteins and their modifications more precisely than any other technology. This webinar described the latest technologies for scalable and systematic mapping of proteoforms to promote human health along with a brief articulation of the Human Proteoform Project and offered opportunities for companies to get involved with this work.


Speaker Bio:

Dr. Neil Kelleher headshot

Prof. Kelleher and his team have been at the forefront of “top-down” proteomics, driving both technology and applications to demonstrate the importance of proteoform measurement in clinically relevant areas. The Kelleher group’s recent studies have highlighted key use cases for human health including apolipoproteins in cardiometabolic health, immunoproteoforms in liver transplant, and IgGs in immune response to COVID-19. Recently, Neil has emerged as a leading voice calling for an analog of the Human Genome Project applied to human proteins. This effort is called the Human Proteoform Project and has growing support from leaders in government, industry, and academia.

Neil is a serial entrepreneur with experience in spinning out four small companies, including a software shop providing the leading search engine used in >1,500 labs for top-down proteomics. His contributions have been recognized by multiple awards, including the Biemann Medal from the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, the Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry from the American Chemical Society, a Searle Scholar Award, a Packard Fellowship, and the Allen Distinguished Investigator Award.  

This was an informational webinar with an opportunity for Q&A with the speaker at the end. Participation was encouraged.