University of Cambridge > > Department of Biochemistry, Cambridge Science Festival Talks (2021) > Why weigh proteins? From tackling disease to improving crops to learning about ancient civilizations

Why weigh proteins? From tackling disease to improving crops to learning about ancient civilizations

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Which proteins are present in a biological sample, such as tissues and blood samples, can be a hallmark for different diseases. The amount of each protein in these samples is also an important hallmark of disease.

In this talk, Professor Kathryn Lilley from the Department of Biochemistry will discuss how mass spectrometers (MS), sophisticated sets of ‘weighing scales’, are used to identify and quantify proteins in biological samples using a method known as proteomics – the identification and quantification of proteins. Kathryn will describe how MSs are used to map proteins with abnormal amounts in diseased tissues, and will discuss how they have been used to give insight into how parasites invade human tissues.

Kathryn will also talk about the importance of using MS methods to help understand plant biology, and how improving the ability of crops to grow in harsher environments is being tackled by applying proteomics. Finally, Kathryn will mention that proteomics can give insights into the age of proteins found in pre-historic remains, and even identify the origins of fossils and how ancient civilizations went about their daily life.

The talk will be followed by a Q&A session.

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Kathryn Lilley is Professor of Cellular Dynamics in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge, is a member of the Milner Therapeutics Institute, and is a Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge. Originally from Nottinghamshire, Kathryn studied at the University of Sheffield and came to Cambridge in November 2000 to set up the Cambridge Centre for Proteomics. Kathryn has a very active research group who work on developing and applying proteomics tools to reveal the spatial relationship of proteins in cells.

This talk is part of the Department of Biochemistry, Cambridge Science Festival Talks (2021) series.

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