Friday, March 23, 2018
A revolutionary open access proteomics model!
What if I said you should stop running your proteomics core the way you have been doing it and just set it up as an open-access model where your customers and collaborators would run their samples themselves.
What would be the order of your objections?
1) They'll break everything!?!?!
2) The data quality would be terrible??!
3) We'll never ever make what the bean counters who secretly run my university require me to make!!!
This new paper in this month's great JASMS details the results of a multi-year experiment in Australia with an open access model.
And -- it works. Holy cow, it works -- 900% growth works! And it's hard to read this and not think -- this could work anywhere!
The authors use the word "insular" which I think means this US vs THEM mentality that current models have ---
You know what I'm talking about -- cause if it isn't happening to you, it's happening to someone you know --
Your collaborators and customers can't keep up with the growth and changes in our field (who can!?!) or just have conceptual issues with our technology so communication is hard. You probably think that they're kinda dumb. (They probably aren't -- or they wouldn't have the money to pay for mass spec.) Even when you try your best to communicate with them I bet you are still taking lots of things for granted -- like they know where trypsin cleaves, and what TMT is, that you can't just search for every potential glycopeptide in that 1ug of peptide that they sent you -- so from their perspective you come off like the angry mass spec wizard who doesn't get nearly enough sunlight down in your dungeon.
The subscription model knocks down this door.
You have direct access to your customers and they have direct access to you. You have to train students or postdocs enough that you all have a shared language -- and interpreters between you and the PI.
This lab sets up things as easily as possible. The same LC systems -- the same universal protocols. A minimum training requirement before someone can access the instruments. The users are invested in the projects and know enough to design ones that are much more likely to succeed. The mass spectrometrists are still critical for the training, advising, troubleshooting, and for the really tough experiments and application development. You know....the cool stuff!! The student biologists who are super invested in their projects do their projects and handle all the boring stuff you trained them to do. They get valuable experience and together you push biology forward.
Over 100+ peer reviewed papers out of this experiment for far!!
900% growth in lab budget.
(And they didn't break the instruments)
BRAVO to this group for attempting this -- and thank you to Dr. Williamson for the clarity in which this experiment is written up. 900% recommend you check this paper out!!