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Announcing Another Keynote Speaker for the 11th International Conference on Applied Hair Science: Dr Jeff Plowman – ‘The Evolution of Keratin Proteomics’

We are delighted to be able to announce that the second keynote speaker for TRI’s 11th International Conference on Applied Hair Science is Dr Jeff Plowman (AgResearch, New Zealand).  Jeff will present a lecture entitled ‘The Evolution of Keratin Proteomics’.  The conference will take place in Red Bank, New Jersey on June 12th and June 13th.  This year the conference will be a hybrid event with live streaming for virtual attendees.  To register for the conference, click here.

Jeffrey Plowman is a protein chemist with over 44 years of experience in the area. Starting as a food analyst with the Chemistry Division of the Department of Science and Industrial Research, he joined to the New Zealand Dairy Research Institute where he studied the molecular basis for micelle stability using two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and molecular modelling. After this he took up a position with the Wool Research Organization of New Zealand, and eventually AgResearch, to develop and expand its proteomic capability in the area of keratin proteins. Through this work he has gained international recognition in the area of keratin protein structure and function.

The abstract to Jeff’s talk reads as follows:

Coined in the 1990s, proteomics is the study of the expressed protein component of the genome of any organism at a certain point in time. In the case of its application to keratin proteins in hair and wool fibers, proteomics has undergone considerable evolution starting with one-dimensional gel electrophoretic separation, through to non-equilibrium and then electrofocusing-based two-dimensional electrophoresis, to gel-free proteomic approaches. 

At the same time the identification of proteins by these techniques has also moved from the application of amino acid analysis to mass spectrometric approaches, the latter starting with peptide mass fingerprinting through to the present-day approach of sequencing of peptides after a second fragmentation of the peptide inside the mass spectrometer. All of this has been aided by the generation of a near complete set of sequence information for keratins and the keratin associated proteins, something that was not available 30 years ago. Keratin proteomics has also become more than the simple cataloguing exercise that existed then towards a wider range of applications that look at protein structure, protein abundance and protein modification. For instance it has been used to develop an understanding of how stretching and other processes affect the readily accessible disulfide bonding in the fiber and hence which ones are potentially involved in inter- and intra-molecular crosslinking. Another approach has seen the application of the label-free quantitative approach to determine differences of relative abundances of proteins between wild-type and crimp mutant animals as part of an overall investigation into the basis of fiber curvature.


For more information about registering for the conference click here.  All the presentations from the 9th International Conference in 2021 and 10th International Conference in 2022 can be viewed on the TRI Library.


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