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2021 Central region candidates 

Candidates are listed alphabetically by last name.

Jonathan Blackburn

Professor, University of Cape Town, South Africa

I am the South African Research Chair in Applied & Chemical Proteomics at the University of Cape Town; Deputy Director of the Institute of Infectious Disease & Molecular Medicine; Head, Division of Chemical & Systems Biology; & Chief Scientific Officer of Sengenics Corporation, a functional proteomics company.

I have published 107 papers, 9 book chapters, 1 edited book, have 32 granted patents and 6 patents pending. I serve on the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health’s Biomarker Consortium steering committees for Cancer and Inflammation & Immunity; & HUPO’s IAB. I am also Chair of a national, government-funded proteomics initiative, which aims to build the local proteomics community and infrastructure, as well as to promote and enable proteomics research in RSA.

My proteomics research programs include: mechanistic studies on tuberculosis disease, HIV-associated TB immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome & HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders; discovery and validation of diagnostic urinary biomarkers of TB disease, schistosomiasis, Covid-19 and prostate cancer; & identification of microbial effectors in gut microbiomes of HIV-exposed infants through metaproteomics. I also use our leading protein microarray platform to identify autoantibody profiles in cancers and autoimmune diseases that predict response to treatment and risk of immune-related adverse events.

These research programs focus on diseases that are prevalent on the African continent and aim to identify and translate diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for use in low resource settings in the developing world. I have trained many postdoctoral (27; 8 current), doctoral (30; 14 current) and Masters (15; 6 current) students from across the African continent, including a large number of African students and postdocs from Nigeria, Cameroon, DRC, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Madagascar and Ethiopia, as well as South Africa.

If elected as a HUPO Councilor, I believe that I will be therefore very well placed to represent and support an African constituency.

Johannes Griss 

Associate Professor, Medical University of Vienna, Austria

My research group focuses on (proteomics) bioinformatics while I also work as a board certified dermatologist at the Medical University of Vienna. We use multi-omics approaches to study tumour immunology and auto-inflammatory diseases and repeatedly observed that key immunological mechanisms are only visible on the protein level.

I am a board member of the Austrian Proteomics and Metabolomics Association, as well as of the European Bioinformatics Community (EuBIC-MS). As an MD and bioinformatician I experienced HUPO as a great place to bridge the gap between proteomics bioinformatic research and clinical applications. I would like to continue to contribute to strengthen bioinformatics in translational research through HUPO initiatives.

Lennart Martens

Professor, Ghent University and VIB, Belgium

After my Master’s thesis in 1999-2000 on the relationship between peptide sequences and fragmentation spectra, I worked as developer and systems architect for a software company for a while. I then returned to Ghent University in 2002 to pursue a PhD in proteomics informatics. In 2003, I devised and created the PRIDE database as a Marie Curie fellow at EMBL-EBI. After obtaining my PhD in Biotechnology in 2006, I led the PRIDE team at EMBL-EBI, assumed an active role in HUPO’s Proteomics Standards Initiative, and stood at the basis of the ProteomeXchange Consortium. I took up my current position at Ghent University and VIB in Belgium in 2009, with a focus on creating innovative bioinformatics solutions for large-scale data analysis.

My CompOmics group delivers cutting-edge, user-friendly bioinformatics solutions that address real-world problems using sophisticated approaches, and we are passionate about research into the orthogonal re-use of public proteomics data. We also serve the community through our freely available tutorials for proteomics informatics and the many courses and workshops we organize and/or lecture at every year.

I have already served HUPO in a variety of ways, including on the Executive Committee as Member-At-Large, in many roles for HUPO-PSI, as HUPOST Editor, and I currently serve on the Marketing & Outreach Committee. I am also a co-founder of the Bioinformatics Hub concept at HUPO Conferences, which launched in Vancouver. I am a Member of the Board of the Belgian Proteomics Association, and am the current President of the European Proteomics Association (EuPA). I am a Fellow of the Royal Society for Chemistry, and have been elected to the Young Academy of the Belgian Royal Academy for Sciences and Arts.

My interests in the HUPO Council focus on communication, education, and the support of Early Career Researchers (ECRs) and community initiatives.

Yves Vandenbrouck

Ph.D., Habilitation, CEA - Fundamental Research Direction, France

During my career, I was fortunate enough to work in different environment (academic and biotech companies), learning at the interface of various disciplines, from Physiology and Cellular biology to Bioinformatics, then Genomics and now Proteomics. Since 2010, I have been working in the Health Department (CEA, Grenoble, FR) as PI, in close collaboration with both a proteomics infrastructure, data scientists and biologists/clinicians. My research interests focuses on the design of bioinformatics tools and strategies to leverage the ever-increasing wealth and diversity of proteomics data for biomarkers discovery and the elucidation of biological processes underlying human diseases. I served on the Executive Committee of the French Proteomics Society for eight years. Appointed by the French Proteomics Infrastructure as training manager, I organized several practical sessions for PhD student, post-doc, engineers and researchers. I am also involved in community efforts such as the Galaxy Training Network, "Galaxy for Mass Spectrometry" workgroup and the European Elixir proteomics community, which aims at disseminating proteomics data analysis pipelines.

For many years, I have been active in the HUPO community by contributing to the HUPO-PSI, Human Proteome Project (guidelines, co-PI for c-HPP France), as a co-founder of the “Bioinformatics Hub” and more recently as a member of the HUPO awards committee. I would like to join the HUPO council to continue promoting the use of computational proteomics resources (data, tools, workflows), and facilitating their accessibility and usability to non-experts users. Developing training for early career researchers, and fostering the interactions between dry and wet lab scientists are also keys to tackle tomorrow’s proteomics biomedical challenges. Through my involvement in community efforts such as HPP, Bioinformatics Hub and Galaxy, I believe that I can contribute to initiatives enabling to foster excitement for proteomics towards the scientific community at large to increase the outreach of HUPO.

Juan Antonio Vizcaino

Proteomics Team Leader, European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), UK

I am leading the Proteomics team at the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK). We are responsible for the PRIDE database ( of mass spectrometry proteomics data and related software tools and resources. Our overall goal is to help researchers to make the most of public proteomics data at different levels, including data submissions, data reuse and the integration between proteomics data and other omics data types. I have been working as a computational biologist for the last 15 years, but before that I was a wet-lab scientist.

Over the years, I have participated in several International efforts where the proteomics community has played a key role. First, I co-led the establishment of the ProteomeXchange consortium of proteomics repositories ( and have coordinated its efforts since 2011, involving other members from USA (PeptideAtlas, MassIVE, Panorama Public) and Asia (jPOST, iProX) in addition to PRIDE. ProteomeXchange has been key in the development of the Human Protein Project (HPP) and, more widely, in promoting open data policies in the field. Additionally, I have participated in many activities of the HUPO-Proteomics Standards Initiative (HUPO-PSI,, where I am currently chairing the Proteomics Informatics Working Group. Furthermore, I co-founded and I am co-leading the ELIXIR Proteomics Community (, which is coordinating computational proteomics activities in Europe. Due to these various roles among others, I have established close contacts with many members of the global proteomics community.

I thus have a lot of experience in coordinating successful international efforts in which the main objectives revolved around bringing the community closer together, to allow everyone to take advantage of all the resulting synergies. And this is precisely what I would like to continue to do in the HUPO Council, working for the benefit of the organisation and of the community as a whole.

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