Research @ the Impens Group
"We provide innovative proteomics technologies to gain insight into cellular disease states on the protein and post-translational level".
Our proteomics-centered research provides novel tools to investigate proteins and their modifications, supporting the activity of the VIB Proteomics Expertise Center (PEC) and collaborative research at our institute.
We develop targeted assays to monitor panels of proteins of high interest at VIB. These assays are based on the concept of sentinel proteins which are biological markers whose change in abundance or modification characterizes the activation state of a given cellular process. By Parallel Reaction Monitoring (PRM) on our orbitrap mass spectrometers we quantify hundreds of proteins in a single run and are able to provide fast and sensitive read-outs of the metabolic and inflammatory state of the cell.
Another focus of the lab lies on the analysis of antigenic peptides during infection. Although many aspects of the MHC presentation pathway are known in great detail, the rules for peptide selection remain largely unknown. In collaboration with the Callewaert and Saelens labs we develop robust pipelines for the LC-MS/MS identification of antigenic peptides presented on cells infected by Mycobacterium, influenza and RSV. Results from this research are expected to uncover novel epitopes that can be used as vaccine candidates.