The Challenge

Within Canada, over 75 infectious diseases are recognized by the Public Health Agency of Canada caused by bacterial, fungal, and viral pathogens, and parasites, with varying degrees of diagnostic and treatment options available. Additionally, the National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases and World Health Organization tracks emerging diseases and outbreaks, along with antimicrobial use and resistance to inform public health practitioners of disease progression and health status across Canada. Importantly, infectious diseases driven by microbes can also impact the severity of other diseases (e.g., cancer, neurological), underscoring the need to comprehensively investigate the relationship between infectious disease and overall human health.

Many diseases are driven by changes to protein signaling pathways or protein production that influence the immune response and the host’s ability to overcome infection. Moreover, many treatment strategies rely on specific and strong interactions between a drug and protein of interest for efficacy. However, a comprehensive view of disrupted signaling and in-depth profiling of drug-target interactions are far from complete and limit our ability to combat disease.

Our approach

Mass spectrometry-based proteomics provides a powerful and robust method to detect changes in host status, diagnose and track progression of disease, and design personalized treatment strategies. When combined with the power of artificial intelligence (AI), biomarker discovery with proteomics data outperforms existing gold-standard assays and drives medical innovation.

The Canadian Proteomics and Artificial Intelligence Consortium for Research and Training (CanProAI) aims to address the needs of the Canadian healthcare system by bringing together experts from across Canada to provide a dynamic and inclusive research and training environment to tackle human diseases.

The Consortium uses a combination of large-scale proteomics and artificial intelligence to develop models to inform clinical decisions for rapid and personalized medicine with final goal to use integrated platforms to advance Canadian healthcare.

Moreover, CanProAI Consortium is built to ensure inclusion and diverse representation. Thus, it supports the establishment of a diverse and inclusive trainee network (seminars, worshops, mentoring…) to prepare the next generation of scientists in proteomics and artificial intelligence.