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Approved Research

Characterising plasma proteomic profiles in over 50,000 UK Biobank participants for better understanding of protein variability and associations in health and disease

Principal Investigator: Dr Ida Grundberg
Approved Research ID: 94598
Approval date: December 14th 2022

Lay summary

It is well known that many of the treatments and procedures available for patients in medicine today are effective only for a subset of the patients that are targeted. Precision medicine is an emerging concept aiming to more precisely identify whether a patient is suitable for receiving a given treatment, which would benefit the patient by ensuring they get the right treatment and reducing the risk of unnecessary side effects, in addition to lower the cost of public health care. To achieve this, new and improved diagnostic tools are needed to identify and classify disease early and predict whether a treatment is suitable for an individual patient. Large studies of protein measurements in the population are an essential step towards achieving this goal and is done in the field of proteomics. Such studies can identify proteins that change with disease and reflect biology in real time.

Recent technological advancements have enabled the measurement of around 1,500 proteins in the blood of more than 50,000 UK Biobank participants through the UK Biobank Pharma Proteomics Project (UKB-PPP) initiative. This is the first opportunity for large scale proteomics research and makes UK Biobank an essential reference resource. In this project, which is expected to be completed within three years, we aim to accelerate the progress towards precision medicine by creating an atlas for protein levels in common and important diseases as well as in health. These results will be available in an open digital platform for the research community to use freely in their research. This initiative will promote scientific progress by allowing researchers over the world to quickly explore and compare protein profiles in health and disease.