Dr Mia Jullig


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Professional Teaching Fellow

Research | Current

My primary interest is in applied proteomics using isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) and LC-MS/MS. This combination enables identification and comparison of the relative levels of hundreds of proteins in complex samples simultaneously, with 8 different samples being compared side-by-side within one LC-MS/MS run. I use the iTRAQ approach to investigate proteomic changes in key tissues in various disease states, e.g. cardiac, vascular and renal proteomes in diabetes and hypertension. Because reduction in sample complexity equals increased resolution, I often focus on mitochondria isolated from tissues of interest.

Due to my longstanding fascination with mitochondria, I in 2009 took the initiative to start The Mitochondrial Network of New Zealand. This is a nationwide society aimed at facilitating the sharing of knowledge and ideas between all researchers working with mitochondria in New Zealand.

A key aspect of my proteomic work is the manual post-processing of the LC-MS/MS output data. I am particularly interested in optimizing the accuracy of the iTRAQ technique by in silico correction for virtually unavoidable sources of error, e.g. unequal loading and uneven purity of samples processed to reduce complexity.

Small differences in protein abundance can make a big difference biologically, especially if a whole pathway is altered in the same direction. In addition to determining changes at the level of the individual proteins, I therefore also analyse how functional groups of proteins, e.g. defined pathways and subunits in protein complexes, behave as a group.

Another critical point is data presentation and final interpretation of the results in their biological context. Proteomics is sometimes accused of merely generating “endless lists of proteins” which can be hard to interpret and are rarely very inspiring. I therefore aim to organize the data not only in functional groups but to create comprehensive illustrations to make the results accessible at a glance.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 4, Room 409
New Zealand

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