Monday, January 13, 2020

EPIC-XS -- Why Europe will always be #1 in Proteomics -- Proposal Deadline 3/31/20!!

Ignore my rambling and just click this big button! Deadline is March 31 for proposals!! 


Did you know the US vastly outspends the EU in mass spectrometry each year? Totally true. Don't ask me how I know. I can't tell you.

Who gets all the Science and Nature papers and, way more importantly,  the studies where you're like "holy shit...we can do that with a mass spec?!??"  Sure...we do okay...I don't mean that just because you're here in 'Murica you can't do something great  but deep down we know that the Europeans run proteomics and we're just trying to keep up by outspending them.

And I think PRIME-XS is a huge reason for why they're ahead right now and EPIC-XS is the reason we'll never catch up.

What is it? It's PRIME-XS powered up!
What was PRIME-XS? It is a way to connect the best and most meaningful and project that are the very most likely to be solved with proteomics technologiest to the best practitioners on an entire continent. (Here is a breakdown of some of the things PRIME-XS did!)

Imagine you're at a US university and you just discovered something big and you need to do some proteomics to finish the project. What do you do?

Option 1: Find a core or service lab: Maybe you go to a core lab and they help you out and everything is great.

But what if what you need is something truly special and hard and new? Cores are -- for the most part -- things that need to make up funds to justify their existence. They (we) have to go through samples and method development is expensive. You may not be able to find someone you could afford to develop this new technology for you. And if you can afford it -- time and time and time again, what do you actually do?

Option 2: You buy your own mass spec....
....and you spend 3-5 years learning how to use it...
...or you spend 3-5 years and a lot of money and you never learn how to use it....
OR -- and this is the worst --- you find out that you weren't right -- that proteomics or mass spectrometry couldn't help you. It's the wrong technology for the job. But you needed loads of experience with the technology to find it is the wrong match.

EPIC-XS offers Option 3:  Access to the expertise to complete your project.

This is my understanding of it: You describe your research and propose your work and an independent panel reviews it and figures out if it is a project that proteomics and mass spec can solve -- and if your project is picked it connects you with the people who have the instruments and expertise to pull your project off AND the funds to do it!

Could you argue that this is like a bunch of labs that are friends who figured out how to rig the system to get themselves the coolest collaborations that could be found on an entire continent? Sure you could! And it's totally and completely brilliant.

And the efficiency for the granting agencies is absurd. Option 2 is inefficient and expensive and, in the end, only good for the shareholders of the instrument companies.

If we want to compete we need a parallel in the US. Which probably won't happen. Instrument manufacturer's have lobbyists.....

But for the EU side -- send this to anyone who has a cool project -- send in your own -- support this amazing project! 

And...yes...I'm totally enjoying my controversial blog post titles!

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