Professor in Translational Proteomics
In the future, you may only need to provide a single drop of blood to obtain an exhaustive information about your health. This because an analysis of the proteins in our blood can show whether you have a disease, which category or state of disease you suffer from, or determine your personal risk of becoming ill.
Jochen Schwenk develops and uses methods that analyse hundreds of proteins circulating in blood. With the aid of advanced technologies, the researchers hope to identify which proteins indicate different state of health and disease.
Schwenk’s research involves several different disciplines to gain as broad an understanding of how blood protein measurements can inform us about human health and disease, such as cancer to diabetes.
The research is usually done in four steps, the first of which is to design the experimental study with samples from the clinic, stored in a biobank or collected from the general population. The second is performing high-throughput analyses of the blood samples to generate high quality data. In the third step, the results are analysed together with additional information about the patients using advanced biostatistics and computational approaches. The fourth step entails to confirm the experimental findings and translate their utility for further studies.
Schwenk has been involved in the Human Protein Atlas project, where he worked on methods for applying and validating antibodies for the discovery of new blood-based biomarkers. The long-term goal is to use data from blood proteins measurements for precision medicine to, for example, find a therapy tailored to each individual patient.