Jochen M. Schwenk

Jochen M. Schwenk

KTH - Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

Title: Affinity proteomics in biobanks for discovery and validation of plasma biomarker


Jochen M. Schwenk is Associate Professor for Translational Proteomics at KTH - Royal Institute of Technology, head of the Biobank Profiling facility at the Science for Life Laboratory and a principal investigator within the Human Protein Atlas. He received his PhD in Biochemistry (University of Tübingen, Germany), and joined the Human Protein Atlas for his postdoctoral work. Today his research focuses on advancing high-throughput and multiplexed affinity proteomic assays by integration of novel immunoassay methods and mass spectrometry. His work is driven to discover, validate and ultimately translate body fluid biomarkers by studying disease biobanks for cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disorders.


New possibilities to discover and ultimately validate protein biomarkers for health and disease will arise alongside the growth in categorized patient biobanks. For a systematic exploration of phenotypes and their health or disease states, immunoassays based on suspension bead arrays are tailored to profile such larger numbers of patient samples. By developing appropriate assays and accessing the unique resource offered by the Human Protein Atlas (HPA), this single-binder approach has revealed biomarker candidates across disease in targeted or discovery-driven studies. The affinity-centric setting provides a versatile platform to extend from beyond a discovery into verification by straightforward replication, screening of additional serum or plasma samples or proximal body fluid, as well as using antibodies on cells or tissue sections. En route to clinical assays, antibody susceptibility to off-target binding is addressed by applying several antibodies towards a common target, epitope mapping and immune-capture mass spectrometry, and ultimately by developing sandwich assays to validate the target of interest. The presentation will give examples of current affinity proteomics efforts profile plasma biobanks of different diseases, and it will discuss the developed strategies from antibody to target validation within multiplexed proteomics technologies.