Lab rededicated as Mick Hitchcock Nevada Proteomics Center

Advanced identification, study of proteins contributes to University of Nevada, Reno research and regional economy

David Quilici, director; Rebekah Woolsey, research scientist and Kathy Schegg, biochemist, are ready to assist scientists, both on- and off-campus, use the new mass spectrometry equipment donated by philanthropist Mick Hitchcock, Ph.D. Photo by Lee Pfalmer.

3/25/2015 | By: Staff Report  |

The University of Nevada, Reno proteomics lab, recently rededicated as the Mick Hitchcock, Ph.D. Nevada Proteomics Center, is expected to have a significant research impact, including for economic development, throughout the entire region.

The Mick Hitchcock, Ph.D. Nevada Proteomics Center offers high quality mass spectral and electrophoretic proteomic analysis using state-of-the-art technologies for research faculty and students at the University, the School of Medicine and the off-campus scientific community at large.  

Proteomics is the identification and study of every protein in a cell or tissue using mass spectrometry. The newest generation of mass spectrometers allows the identification of thousands of different proteins in a single analysis. This equipment is now in the center, offering the most powerful available method for identification and analysis of proteins from every type of biological sample. It can help find cures for disease, enhance health protocols and help create drought resistant plants.  

Hitchcock, a philanthropist, researcher and entrepreneur, made the lab possible through a major gift to the University.  

"Proteomics impacts lives in a very real and tangible way," said Mridal Gautam, Ph.D., the University's vice president of research and innovation.

"The Mick Hitchcock Nevada Proteomics Center will allow for proteome discovery, post translational site-mapping and protein quantification. These technological advances are critical to maintaining the competitiveness of proteomic research programs within the University and the state of Nevada."  

"The generous gift will meet the overwhelming demand by our researchers for more sensitive and higher throughput proteomic analysis," he added.  

David Quilici, Ph.D., proteomics director, said the new instrumentation offers revolutionary architecture delivering an unprecedented depth of analysis.  

"This instrumentation will enable researchers to address the most challenging questions in systems biology by identifying more proteins more quickly and quantifying them more accurately."  

Faculty and researchers at the University are engaged in cutting edge research, examining the roles of specific proteins in such varied biological conditions as preterm labor and muscular dystrophy in humans, the effect of cold and drought stress on plants, and the unique fingerprint of proteins associated with the effects of drugs and environmental change.  

Among its services, the center offers 2-D gel techniques, protein identification tools and database search engines at very competitive pricing for the scientific community of Nevada and beyond.  

"The relevance of this lab is in its ability to determine and develop biomarkers that are used to create drug therapies," Gautam explained.  

He went on to explain that the presence of this lab, located in the business-friendly environment of northern Nevada, with its availability of science, engineering and biomedical professionals on- and off-campus, should be very attractive to research-and-development companies looking to relocate.  

The Nevada Proteomics Center is located in the Manville Health Sciences Building at the School of Medicine's complex on the north end of the University campus.


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