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Module Objectives: Describe to students to the role of clinical proteomics in the area of individualised healthcare and technological advances in this area.
This advanced module focuses on the field of clinical proteomics, which can be divided into the analysis of body fluids and tissues. Soluble biomarkers will be discussed, which are found in biofluids including blood, urine and saliva, are considered indicator biomolecules that assist in detecting diseased conditions at an early stage, make discrimination between different diseases, and are useful for monitoring progression and response to specific therapeutic strategies. Established clinical biomarkers such as carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) will be discussed and problems associated with their diagnostic utilities will be addressed. Expression of tissue-based proteins (up-regulation or down-regulation) in various pathological conditions will be explored with emphasis on metabolic and signalling pathways as potential therapeutic targets for treatment of disease. The relationship between biomarkers and therapeutic targets will be examined and the role of companion diagnostics in this area assessed. Underpinning clinical proteomics are the recent developments in quantitative mass-spectrometry, array-based high-throughput protein microarrays and novel fractionation technologies, which will be examined in detail. The role of other "omic" methodologies that are complementary and synergistic to clinical proteomics will be reviewed, specifically looking at metabolomics as an example.