As medical professionals search for new ways to personalize diagnosis and treatment of disease, RPB-supported researchers at the University of Iowa have already put into practice what may be the next big step in precision medicine: personalized proteomics.
Proteomics is the large-scale analysis of all the proteins in a cell type, tissue type, or organism. In contrast to genomics, which shows how genetic differences can indicate a person’s potential for developing a disease over a lifetime, proteomics takes a real-time snapshot of a patient’s protein profile during the disease. Doctors can use this information to tailor diagnosis and initiate treatment, sometimes long before a conventional diagnosis even begins to home in on a cause.
“Proteomics allows us to create a precision molecular diagnosis that’s totally personalized for the patient,” says Vinit Mahajan, M.D., Ph.D., UI clinical assistant professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences, and recipient of a 2011 RPB Career Development Award.
Mahajan’s lab recently used proteomics to devise a successful treatment strategy for a patient with uveitis, a potentially blinding eye disease that can have many causes, making it particularly difficult to diagnose and treat effectively. The team’s findings are described in a paper published in the Feb. 11 issue of the journal JAMA Ophthalmology.
Learn more: The Future of Precision Medicine