The Universities of Pretoria and Stellenbosch Host the 5th Proteomics Workshop

The ACGT hosted the 5th national proteomics workshop in September 2014; facilitated by two world renowned proteomics experts, Prof Kathryn Lilley from Cambridge University and Prof Lennart Martens from Ghent University. The workshops were held at two nodes; at the University of Pretoria from the 10th-12th of September and at Stellenbosch University from the 15th – 17th of September.

This three-day workshop was a follow-up from the 2012 and 2013 Proteomics workshops that were facilitated by Prof Lilley and the 2013 Proteomics-Bioinformatics workshop facilitated by Prof Martens. The 1st two days of the workshop were packed with a series of lectures and practical sessions from both professors. The topics covered on day 1 and 2 included: introduction to proteomics, basics of mass spectrometry, quantitative proteomics approaches, data processing of quantitative methods, identification and interpretation of MS proteomics data, experimental design and protein inference. On the 3rd day, round-table discussions were conducted and the participants had the opportunity to engage with the two professors, as well as local proteomics experts, regarding their own projects and discuss topics such as sample preparation; experimental design; quantifying methods to be employed, biological interpretation of MS data and validation methods.

The Gauteng leg of the workshop was well represented by attendees from the ACGT partner institutions (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Agricultural Research Council, the Universities of Johannesburg, Pretoria and Witwatersrand). There were also attendees from Rhodes University, University of South Africa, University of Free State and Protechnik Laboratories. The Western Cape leg of the workshop had participants from Stellenbosch University, University of Cape Town, the Agricultural Research Council and Cape Peninsula University of technology.

The workshop was very well received at both nodes with some of the participants sharing comments such as “Both speakers were very knowledgeable and were good at explaining difficult concepts. I thought the course was excellent and extremely useful”, and “The lecturers (Profs Lilley and Martens) were excellent at conveying complex topics in an easy to understand way. They were extremely knowledgeable and helpful during discussion sessions. I would highly recommend utilising their expertise in future workshops.”

The facilitators were also impressed with the attendees and were able to pitch the lectures according to the needs of the participants at the different nodes. The success of the workshop made it possible for the both facilitators informing the ACGT team that they would be happy to come back in 2015 and present a more evolved proteomics workshop.

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