The word “proteomics” was coined in early 1990s by the Macquarie University PhD candidate, Marc Wilkins and the science itself had its origins in electrophoretic separation technique of the 1970’s and 1980’s. The term is an alternative to the phrase “the protein complement of the genome”. The word “proteome” is now firmly established in mainstream scientific vernacular, and is the key technology in post-genomic era.
Proteomics is the systematic study of the many and diverse properties of proteins in a parallel manner with the aim of providing detailed descriptions of the structure function and control of biological systems in health and disease. Advances in methods and technologies have catalyzed an expansion of the scope of biological studies from the reductionist biochemical analysis of single proteins to proteome-wide measurements. Proteomics and other complementary methods are essential components of the emerging ‘systems biology’ approach that seeks to comprehensively describe biological systems through integration of diverse types of data and, in the future, to ultimately allow computational simulations of complex biological systems.
Establishment of national centre for proteomics at University of Karachi is a milestone in field of biological sciences in Pakistan. The aim is to make use of recent revolutionary breakthroughs in the technologies of proteomics and implementing these in relevant areas of biological research. The mandate of the institute is to serve as a core facility to fulfill the investigators’ and researchers’ needs related to area of proteomics and allied sciences including biochemists, cell biologists, pharmacologists and clinicians.
Proteins are the key components of the cellular machinery, and thus detailed and complete information of “Proteome” regarding any specific state of the cell, could be valuable.
The aspiration of the “National Center for Proteomics” was to establish and provide core facilities that are now widely used in the field of Proteomics, hence to facilitate fundamental understanding of disease states, discovery and detection of biomarkers, translation of these advances to improve clinical diagnostics and population screening, and to acquire a complete set of structural and functional information about proteins that are being specifically expressed at one particular time whether in normal or abnormal provision. Moreover, the Institute encompasses a full commitment to get a hold on recent advancements that are currently being supplemented in the area of Proteomics research. In addition, fulfillment of challenges like development of protein chips for high throughput screening of disease-associated proteins, to benefit researchers’ academicians and students all over the country from state -of -the- art facilities available at the center, to collaborate with research institutions and centers all over the Pakistan and to be a part of larger research.
National Center for Proteomics, University of Karachi was established under a development grant provided by planning commission in 2004. Total funds allocated for the same were Rs. 169.5 million. The construction of building was initiated in 2005. The institute came into existence in the beginning of 2008 and was inaugurated by the Chancellor of University of Karachi, Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ebad (Governor of Sindh) on 1st March 2008. The institute became functional almost a year later and has employed dedicated and devoted scientists.