Biologists and pharmaceutical researchers often need to know what proteins are present in biological samples. Mass spectrometry has become the standard way to procure this information. Through the use of computer software and manual research, researchers are able to analyze this data and report what proteins are in the sample. However, one problem that bioinformatics researchers have had difficulty with is finding a precise way to identify novel proteins.
It took Dr. Bin Ma to succeed in finding a solution to this problem. As the chief technology officer with Waterloo-based Bioinformatics Solutions Inc., Dr. Ma has helped develop multiple products that are now used by leading pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology firms, research hospitals, government labs and university research centres for the purpose of protein identification. These products, PEAKS and PatternHunter are able to not only report what proteins are in a sample but also identify novel proteins.