Skip to content

Unlocking the secrets of disease

Watch this video in which Mathias Uhlén takes us through the progress of genomics and proteomics toward an understanding of human biology.

The Human Genome Project was an extraordinary milestone for science, but there’s a lot more work to be done in order to understand how the body works.

Mathias Uhlén, professor of microbiology and leader of the Human Protein Atlas project, says it is “astonishing” how much more there is to understand about human biology.

“Genomics can tell us things but in order to actually understand what is going on, we have to move to the phenotype, the proteins and the metabolites.”

In this presentation from the GoldLab symposium in 2012, Uhlén explains how he and his colleagues at Science for Life Laboratory have picked up where work in DNA sequencing leaves off:

“Mankind has tried to systematically go through nature … and right now we are in an incredible age, where we’ll go through all the building blocks of human life — the DNA, the proteins. And, now we have tools to study that at an incredible pace. It’s called ‘omics’.

“We use that to get to the parts list of human life.”

The aim of proteomics isn’t just academic. Ninety-eight percent of all drugs target proteins, so understanding them better will lead to new, more effective drug treatments for a variety of disease, including cancer, cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders.

David Callahan





David Callahan is editor for international news and media at KTH Royal Institute of Technology.