The project will use the combined expertise of ECU post-doctoral researcher Dr Thao Le and ChemCentre forensic toxicologist Dr Nicola Beckett and colleagues working together on site to develop a range of enhanced analytical capabilities.
Proteomic analysis (proteomics) refers to the systematic identification and quantification of the complete complement of proteins (the proteome) of a biological system – such as cell, tissue, organ, biological fluid, or organism – at a specific point in time.
As a result of this collaborative project, ChemCentre aims to enhance its capability through the exploration of relatively novel forensic proteomic applications, leading to developing methods not routinely used in Australian forensic laboratories.
Project outcomes are expected to assist Western Australian agencies’ control over racing and sports doping via the detection of unlawfully administered peptide drugs, and will also explore avenues to expand on information currently provided to the Office of the State Coroner in its investigation of unexplained deaths; for example, through more detailed anlayses of toxins/venoms, disease biomarkers, insulin and/or associated hormones.
High-resolution mass spectrometry will be used for the powerful screening and quantitative analyses required for the complex nature of the work being undertaken.
The increase in ChemCentre’s suite of analytical services will continue to assist WA government – e.g. WA Police, State Coroner – and other clients such as Racing and Wagering WA, and make us one of only a few labs in Australia able to offer these services commercially.
Additionally, the project aims to build upon the literature and contribute to the greater forensic proteomics body of knowledge, which is a growing research area. For more information, contact Dr Nicola Beckett at ChemCentre on 08 9422 9800.
Image: Nicola Beckett and Thao Le with a high-resolution mass spectrometer at ChemCentre.