About HUPO

About HUPO

The Human Proteome Organization (HUPO) is an international scientific organization representing and promoting proteomics through international cooperation and collaborations by fostering the development of new technologies, techniques and training.


To define and promote proteomics through international cooperation and collaborations by fostering the development of new technologies, techniques and training to better understand human disease.


  • Foster global collaboration in major proteomics projects by gathering leading international laboratories in life sciences, bioinformatics, mass spectrometry, systems biology, pathology, and medicine;
  • Become the point of contact for proteomics research and commercialization activities worldwide;
  • Support large-scale proteomics projects that are aimed at:
  • A mechanistic understanding of fundamental biological processes (often using model organisms and non human species);
  • Directly studying human disease through proteomics techniques and technologies;
  • Coordinate and enable the fostering of communication among funding agencies and industry partners with the proteomics community and coordinate the activities of groups and organisations interested in HUPO’s Scientific Initiatives
  • Coordinate the development of standard operating procedures related to:
  • Sample preparation, analysis, and repetitions;
  • Data collection, analysis, storage, and sharing;
  • Play a leading role in:
  • Defining the location and functions of proteins in human health and disease by supporting the definition of common and specific standards for peptide and protein characterization from human and model organism specimen selection and phenotypic evaluation to data collection, storage and analysis allowing free and rapid exchange of data;
  • The creation of country-based ethical and legal policy surrounding the handling, banking and use of human tissue specimens for large-scale proteomics projects.

How did HUPO evolve?

HUPO was launched on February 9, 2001. On that date, a global advisory council was officially formed that included leading global experts in the field of proteomics from the academic, government, and commercial sectors. Over the next 12 months, the council, in consultation with industry, identified major proteomics issues and initiatives that needed to be addressed by HUPO. Since its inception, HUPO has received substantial financial assistance from Genome Quebec, Montreal International, McGill University, the National Institutes of Health, and pharmaceutical companies, among others. In addition, it has benefited from considerable in-kind contributions of time and energy from HUPO Council members, research institutes, and pharmaceutical company partners around the world.
The HUPO Office Headquarters are located in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

HUPO Initiatives are prominently showcased at each Annual HUPO World Congress, which are held as per a three year rotation in the Americas, Asia/Oceania and Europe. The number of participants and exhibitors has significantly increased over the years and the Congresses are a must attend for anyone involved in proteomics.

Annual HUPO World Congresses

What is Proteomics?

Proteomics has evolved from genomics and the successful sequencing and mapping of the genomes of a wide variety of organisms, including humans.

Genomics involves using reagents, tools and technologies for the high throughput sequencing of DNA and the subsequent storage and annotation of the data. This process is complex and focuses on the information of one target molecule, DNA, in the nucleus of cells. Consequently, there is one genome for each organism.

In contrast, proteomics focuses on the identification, localization, and functional analysis of the protein make-up of the cell. The proteins present in a cell, together with their function, sub-cellular location, and perhaps even structure, change dramatically with the organism, and the conditions faced by their host cells including: age, checkpoint in the cell cycle, and external or internal signaling events.

Thus, there are many proteomes for each organism and consequently, the quantity and complexity of the data derived from the sequencing and mapping of the human proteome are estimated to be at least three times greater than that involved in the human genome project. Acquiring, analyzing, and interpreting these vast data sets requires a series of well-integrated, high-throughput technologies to lead the researcher from experimental design to biological insight.

The field of proteomics is particularly important because most diseases are manifested at the level of protein activity. Consequently, proteomics seeks to correlate directly the involvement of specific proteins, protein complexes and their modification status in a given disease state. Such knowledge will provide a fast track to commercialization and will speed up the identification of new drug targets that can be used to diagnose and treat diseases.