Aven Foundation Endowed Chair, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Professor, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center
Dr. Amanda Paulovich is a leader in proteomics, the study of proteins — the cell’s workhorse molecules. Due to a lack of tools, proteomics has lagged behind the study of genes, which provide the blueprints for proteins. And just as a blueprint can’t tell you everything about a finished house, our genetic blueprint only reveals part of the biological picture. By developing powerful protein-measuring tools, Dr. Paulovich helps to fill in this picture and open the door to treatments tailored to individual cancer patients.Her team has spearheaded the development of assays that use a technique called multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry, or MRM-MS, to detect and precisely measure the amount of a particular protein. This technology will help researchers combine detailed information about proteins with genetic data to learn, for instance, which genetic mutations drive a cancer’s development and suggest new therapeutic targets.