ProCan (the ACRF International Centre for the Proteome of Human Cancer) is a world-first initiative developed and launched in September 2016 by Professors Phil Robinson and Roger Reddel, and established with a $10 million grant from the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF). Equipped with six SCIEX mass spectrometers and a super computer (700TB / 480 cores), ProCan processes tumour samples through a proteomic method, SWATH-MS, which allows fast mass spectrometric conversion of small amounts of tissue (biopsy level) into a single, permanent digital file representing the quantitative proteome of the sample. One of the goals of ProCan is to measure thousands of proteins in about 70,000 cancers of all types with known treatment outcome and correlate tumour proteotypes with clinical phenotypes.
The Cancer Data Science Group, led by Dr. Qing Zhong, aims to develop novel computational tools and sophisticated machine learning algorithms to achieve this goal. Other major focuses of the group are big proteogenomic data mining and management; the genome-proteome association analysis and multi-omic data integration for studying cancer; development of advanced statistical tools to account for batch effects caused by large-scale, high throughput proteomics, and implementation of big data-driven, evidence-based computational tools to achieve predictive, preventive, personalised medicine.