2014 SwissTB Award

PhD Olga T. Schubert

The goal of our research is to develop methods for the detection and quantification of proteins of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB). We have established a database which helps scientists to measure one or several pre-defined proteins of Mycobacterium tuberculosis with very high sensitivity and quantitative accuracy. Such measurements are typically carried out on a mass spectrometer using a technique called Selected Reaction Monitoring (SRM). So far, to study a certain biological process in the TB bacillus, scientists had to develop an antibody or an SRM assay for the protein of interest, both time consuming and costly undertakings. Through our database, we provide validated SRM assays for 97% of all described proteins of the TB bacillus. Thanks to this new resource, scientists can now directly investigate their proteins of interest at high throughput and with high sensitivity and quantitative accuracy. The accurate quantification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis proteins, not only in liquid cultures, but also in complex samples such as infected macrophages, blood or lung tissue, are important to gain a better understanding on how the bacterium adapts to different conditions in the human body and to reveal potential drug targets or antigens for more efficient treatments and vaccines.


Olga T. Schubert1,2, Jeppe Mouritsen1,3, Christina Ludwig1, Hannes L. Röst1,2, George Rosenberger1,2, Patrick K. Arthur4, Manfred Claassen1, David S. Campbell5, Zhi Sun5, Terry Farrah5, Martin Gengenbacher6, Alessio Maiolica1, Stefan H.E. Kaufman6, Robert L. Moritz5, Ruedi Aebersold1,7

1 Institute of Molecular Systems Biology, ETH Zurich
2 Systems Biology Graduate School, Zurich
3 Molecular Life Sciences Graduate School, Zurich
4 Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molcular Biology, University of Ghana, Accra
5 Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle
6 Department of Immunology, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin
7 Faculty of Science, University of Zurich, Zurich

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