Christoph H. Borchers
Full Professor, University of Victoria, Director, UVic Genome BC Proteomics Centre
Novel Approaches in Quantitative and Structural Proteomics for Clinical Research and Diagnostics
Protein quantitation is essential for screening biomarker candidates for disease stratification and monitoring, and to verify and validate these biomarkers. Accurate plasma protein concentrations can be determined through a targeted, multiplexed approach involving Multiple Reaction Monitoring (MRM), in conjunction with stable isotope-labeled standard (SIS) peptides. To improve the robustness of MRMs toward the analysis of thousands of patient samples, we have developed assays using standard-flow UPLC/MRM-MS for quantitating multiple proteins (>100) in undepleted human specimen including plasma, urine and CSF. Recent developments in the modern mass spectrometry of proteins and peptides have resulted in significant progress in structural proteomics techniques for studying protein structure. A variety of protein structural questions, ranging from defining protein interaction networks to the study of conformational changes and the structure of single proteins, can be addressed using multiple mass spectrometry based structural proteomics approaches. Each technique provides specific structural information which can be used as experimental structural constraints in protein-structure modeling. Here, we describe recent developments in limited proteolysis, surface modification, hydrogen-deuterium exchange, ion mobility, and crosslinking — all combined with modern mass spectrometric techniques — for studying the structure of clinical relevant proteins like prion.
Dr. Borchers received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Konstanz, Germany. After his post-doctoral training and employment as a staff scientist at NIEHS/NIH/RTP, in North Carolina, he became the director of the UNC-Duke Proteomics Facility and held a faculty position at the UNC Medical School in Chapel Hill, NC (2001-2006). Since then, Dr. Borchers has been employed at the University of Victoria (UVic), Canada and holds the current positions of Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology and the Don and Eleanor Rix BC Leadership Chair in Biomedical and Environmental Proteomics. He is also the Director of the UVic – Genome BC Proteomics Centre, which is one out of five Genome Canada funded Science & Technology Innovation Centres and the only one devoted to proteomics.
His research is centred around the improvement, development and application of proteomics technologies with a major focus on techniques for quantitative targeted proteomics for clinical diagnostics. Multiplexed LC-MRM-MS approaches and the immuno-MALDI (iMALDI) technique are of particular interest. Another focus of his research is on technology development and application of the combined approach of protein chemistry and mass spectrometry for structural proteomics. Dr. Borchers has published over 180 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals and is the founder and CSO of two companies, Creative Molecules. Inc. and MRM Proteomics Inc. He is also involved in promoting proteomic research and education through his function as HUPO International Council Member, Scientific Director of the BC Proteomics Network and Vice-President, External of the Canadian National Proteomics Network.