Leeds Institute of Genetics, Health and Therapeutics
(LIGHT) is the only UK academic centre to
be included in the Human Proteome Organisation
(HUPO), the most important international scientific
collaboration since the human genome project.
the human genome project mapped genes, HUPO
aims to map all the proteins in the human
body in relation to disease.
director and professor of molecular vascular
medicine Peter Grant said: “There’s
a recognition within the science community
that genes aren’t going to give us all
the answers, and understanding proteins will
provide the next step forward in combating
give a broader picture of what’s happening
within the human body, showing genetic and
environmental factors. For example, smoking
won’t alter your genes, but it will
alter how some of your proteins are expressed.”
LIGHT will be housed in a new Science Research
Investment Fund-backed building, under construction
between the Worsley building and the generating
station. The £7.8m institute will bring
together 100 researchers from medicine and
biological sciences, combining basic science
and clinical research to ensure a rapid transfer
of knowledge from the lab to treatments.
Although the building will not be completed
until autumn 2004, HUPO was sufficiently impressed
with the research at Leeds to admit the new
institute to the organisation. “HUPO
membership is very prestigious, but it is
also recognition that we’re doing the
right thing in Leeds in terms of protein research,”
said Professor Grant.
will join HUPO’s plasma proteome group,
focusing on the expression of proteins within
plasma, particularly in relation to conditions
such as heart disease and diabetes.