Pacific northwest bioMedical Innovation Co-Laboratory (PMedIC)

PNNL to Provide Another Five Years of Tumor Characterization and Translational Research for Cancers

July 11, 2022 | Andrea Starr

RICHLAND, Wash.—The Office of Cancer Clinical Proteomics Research (OCCPR) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, announced in June that PNNL is one of three Proteome Characterization Centers (PCC), and it will also partner with Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) as a Proteogenomic Translational Research Center (PTRC).

PCCs, PTRCs, and Proteogenomic Data Analysis Centers (PGDAC) form NCI's Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium (CPTAC), which PNNL has been involved in since 2011.

PCCs focus on baseline characterization of tumors using advanced mass spectrometry instruments and methods. Over the next five years, PCC PI Tao Liu says the team will also bring metabolomics and single-cell and/or spatial proteomics into its instrument platforms.

"It's a unique opportunity for us to continue to explore the potential of multi-omics and promote PNNL's reputation in cancer proteomics," added Liu.

The PCC's research will start by studying melanoma, and the PTRC team will focus on acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

OHSU's Jeffrey Tyner is PI of the PTRC and Brian Druker (OHSU) and PNNL's Paul Piehowski and Dick Smith are multiple PIs. The OHSU and PNNL teams will examine proteomic features to improve drug treatment of AML.

Retired PNNL Lab Fellow and OHSU alum Karin Rodland fostered PNNL's relationship with the university, eventually establishing the Pacific northwest bioMedical Innovation Co-laboratory (PMedIC) in 2018. Under PMedIC, the organizations continue to conduct health-related research, including the work they're doing as CPTAC centers.

"Vying for these centers is an extremely competitive process," said Smith. "Cancer affects nearly everyone in some way, so being part of research that brings us closer to understanding—and hopefully mitigating—it has become personal for all of us."