Manchester Particle Physics Seminars, Colloquia and Meetings

Particles to Proteins: Fast feature finding for Tandem Mass Spectrometry

by Jon Hays (Queen Mary University of London), Ryan Smith (Queen Mary University of London)

Friday, 2 June 2017 from to (Europe/London)
at Schuster ( 54-6-6.40 - Niels Bohr Common Room )
The search for the Higgs boson and physics beyond the standard model at large particle physics experiments has for many years been a strong driver in the development of new technologies, procedures and techniques for data handling, processing and analysis. The large data volumes and small potential signals in particular generate huge challenges.

Proteomics concerns itself with the measurement and quantification of all the proteins in biological samples. In particular, the workhorse of this field is the mass spectrometer. As improvements in devices continue to be made in resolution, handling capacity and speed, larger and larger data sets are generated, leading to a bottleneck in the workflow of going from initial samples to the final scientific results. Furthermore, the traditional career path of researchers in the biological sciences has led to a skill shortage that leaves the field ill equiped to meet the challenges of analysing ever larger data sets.

Over the past year we have been investigating approaches to data analysis inspired by particle physics and applied to analyzing proteomics data sets, focusing on distributed processing, data reduction and feature finding. We discuss the challenges that we found, how we have met these challenges, and how, as a result of multidisciplinary research, we have developed a tool which has brought considerable benefit to research in proteomics.