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HUPO Awards - 2021 recipients

We are pleased to announce the winners of the HUPO Awards. These awards are presented annually at the world congress and recognize the outstanding efforts and achievements of individuals or groups in the field of proteomics. We gratefully acknowledge the support of Clinical Proteomics (BioMed Central), Journal of Proteome Research (ACS Publications) and the HUPO Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) as sponsors of  the annual awards. 


The Distinguished Achievement in Proteomic Sciences Award recognizes a scientist for distinguished scientific achievements in the field of proteomic science.

Sponsored by the Journal of Proteome Research (ACS Publications)

Nicolle H. Packer
Macquarie University, Australia

Dr. Nicolle H. Packer has made exceptional contributions to the field of proteomics and glycomics for the last four decades. Notably, she has, across multiple avenues, in HUPO (currently co-chair of the Biology/Disease driven Human Proteome Project), pioneered both proteomics and the integration of glycomics into proteomics. Examples of her achievements include the early development of key analytical approaches and informatics solutions for the system-wide profiling of protein attached glycans using advanced mass spectrometry. To this end, Dr. Packer has achieved unmatched impact in the field by being the first to successfully integrate glycobiology with glycoanalytics and glycoinformatics, a remarkable achievement with wide reaching relevance for past, present, and future protein and carbohydrate scientists.

Dr. Packer has mentored 24 ECRs and supervised more than 20 PhD students. Many of her past students/postdocs have made independent careers in proteomics/glycomics around the world. Dr. Packer’s achievements in both proteomics and glycomics and her pioneering efforts and leadership in the integration of glycomics, proteomics, biology, clinical research, and informatics have proven vital for the emergence of “systems glycobiology”. Dr. Packer continues to make innovative and highly impactful discoveries in hitherto unexplored areas, most recently in glyconanomaterials and synthetic glycobiology. On behalf of HUPO, we congratulate Dr. Packer for her many distinguished achievements in Proteomics Sciences.


The Discovery in Proteomic Sciences Award recognizes a scientist for a single discovery in the field of proteomics.

Sponsored by Journal of Proteomics (ELSEVIER BV)

Paola Picotti
Institute of Molecular Systems Biology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Dr. Paola Picotti is being bestowed the Discovery in Proteomic Sciences Award as she developed a novel proteomic method to probe protein structural changes on a proteome-wide scale and directly from cell and tissue extracts. For the first time, the approach couples limited proteolysis and mass spectrometry (LiP-MS) to generate structure-specific proteolytic fingerprint (structural barcodes) for each protein. Dr. Picotti applied LiP-MS to elucidate the determinants of thermosensitivity of proteomes, which challenged previous textbook knowledge on the prevalence of intrinsically disordered proteins. Further, Dr. Picotti used LiP-MS to generate the first map of protein-metabolite interactions, which revealed structural and functional principles of chemical communication.

Dr. Picotti’s pivotal discovery impacts structural biology by enabling the generation of dynamic structural data from differently perturbed proteomes in situ, which nicely complement static structural data generated by high-resolution techniques, fueling the field of structural systems biology. We applaud this discovery and the many achievements to date by Dr. Paola Picotti with recognition by the 2021 HUPO Discovery in Proteomics award.


The Clinical and Translational Proteomics Award recognizes a scientist in the field of clinical and translational proteomics.

Sponsored by Clinical Proteomics (BioMed Central)

Ying Ge
University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

Dr. Ying Ge has devoted her past decade to the clinical and translational research for better understanding and diagnosis of cardiac diseases. She is unique in her ability to bridge the silos between basic and translational/clinical research for precision medicine by creatively integrating her expertise in mass spectrometry/proteomics with cardiac biology/medicine. Her research is highly interdisciplinary that cuts across the traditional boundaries of chemistry, biology, and medicine with a focus on “bench-to-bedside” translation. Dr. Ge has employed cutting-edge top-down proteomics to analyze surgical human heart tissue samples from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) patients which revealed common patterns of altered sarcomeric proteoforms across HCM tissues despite the distinct HCM-causing mutations in these patients. This opens the door for the development of therapeutic interventions that target the HCM proteoform phenotype rather than individual genotypes.

Dr. Ge’s efforts have directly linked proteomics to potential patient care with direct evidence showing that proteoforms can better reflect patient’s disease phenotypes than their genotypes. Importantly, this can have general impact in the future patient care that the physicians could utilize proteomics for better diagnosis of the patients based on their proteoform info beyond genetic testing and develop precision-medicine treatments. We are honored to bestow the HUPO 2021 Clinical and Translational Proteomics Award to Dr. Ge.


The Science and Technology Award recognizes an individual or a team in private industry for the commercialization or (not necessarily) the invention of products, technologies or procedures which had the demonstrated effect in enabling proteome researchers to advance their science.

Sponsored by the Industrial Advisory Board (IAB)

Nicolai Bache and Ole Vorm
Evosep Aps, Denmark

Dr. Ole Vorm and Nicolai Bache are the HUPO 2021Proteomics Science and Technology Award awardees for the development of the Evosep One, a standardized nano-chromatography platform designed for ultimate robustness and high throughput. Through the novel incorporation of replaceable sample applicators acting as traps where samples are loaded and desalted offline, the removal of many sample storage and transfer handling steps ensures robustness. Coupled to low pressure nanoflow capabilities reduces injection cycle overheads, providing excellent reproducibility both “run-to-run”, “column-to-column” and “instrument-to-instrument”, facilitating individual proteomics studies and inter-laboratory collaborations alike. The Evosep One instrument heralds in a new era of proteomics standardization and platform reliability as the instrument is designed for minimal wear and tear on mechanical components as all elution and gradient formation happens at low pressure. The Evotip is disposed of after each run, allowing extend column lifetime. Analytically important peptides are effectively retained, and cross-contamination reduced.

The minimal overhead in each sample cycle has established the “Samples Per Day” as a common term in proteomics currently and is being picked up by multiple vendors, but it is really the fixed/locked nature of the Evosep One standardized methods, together with matched and optimized columns and emitters that has become the true equalizer by offering truly comparable chromatography across the field, regardless of sample, local workflow variations or even the acquisition Mass Spectrometer. The awardees and the team at Evosep developed the Evosep One through engineering from first principles, and benefiting from 10-20 years of nano-LC design experience, addressing known shortcomings and troublespots in more traditional designs. The combination of these design solutions gave rise to the widely successful Evosep One nano-chromatography system, launched at the HUPO World Congress 2017 in Dublin, Ireland and is widely used across the Pharma industry, Hospitals/Clinics, and academia.

In its endeavors to promote Industrial orientated Proteomics based research, HUPO awards the 2021 Science and Technology Award to the worthy winners, Dr’s Ole Vorm and Nicolai Bache.


The Distinguished Service Award recognizes an exemplary member of the proteomic research community whose dedicated service has made indispensable contributions to the organization and mission of HUPO.

Stephen Pennington
University College Dublin, Ireland

Dr. Stephen Pennington has continuously demonstrated that taking on roles within the organization should involve commitment to delivery of results (work) and that teams which are tasked with key objectives can be empowered to achieve them while at the same time enjoying the experience. Guided by senior leaders in the organization, Dr. Pennington has sought to empower the next generation of proteomics researchers and the ECR who have thrived and continue to do so. Dr. Pennington has provided (and continues to do so) important guidance and leadership during this challenging time, not only supporting HUPO, but ensuring it thrives

Dr. Pennington has a long history in HUPO and was the primary organizer of HUPO2017 in Dublin. This involved the organization (and fund-raising) for the HUPO Gala Dinner with the guest of honor, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr, 46th President of the United States of America. Dr. Pennington continues to provide distinguished service to organize the HUPO2020 Congress to a virtual meeting, a highly innovative and successful Congress. This virtual congress inaugurated the ‘Proteomics Knowledge Resource’ (a series of recordings of presentations and posters) as a benefit to HUPO members and an on-going legacy for future congresses. Dr. Pennington has served as HUPO president and continues to assist HUPO during this very turbulent and challenging time brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. HUPO is proud to award Dr. Pennington with the 2021 Distinguished Service Award.

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