The P4EU (Protein Production and Purification Partnership in Europe) is a professional network, whose members engage in various aspects of protein expression, purification and characterization in academic settings such as universities or research institutes, typically core technology platforms.
The P4EU was conceived in 2010 with the initial kick-off meeting in Halle, Germany in February 2011. Since then, two annual 2-day meetings have been hosted by member’s institutes, which has led the P4EU across Europe and allowed visits to individual platforms, thereby allowing exchange of ideas on set-ups. Currently, there are almost 100 members of the P4EU with a meeting attendance of 30-40 P4EU protein experts plus an equivalent number of local attendees. In addition to meetings, there is a very active on-line discussion forum ensuring that trusted, expert advice is never further away than the fingertips.
The mission of P4EU is to create a forum for informal exchange of experiences and solutions to common problems to avoid “re-invention of the wheel” in parallel. This could relate to amongst other subject
- Evaluation of and hands-on experience with new technologies
- Identification of sources of expertise
- Generating awareness of reagents available to the wider community
- Benchmarking and standard operation procedures – “How does my platform perform relative to others – and how can this be optimised ?” – initiative here include:
- Establishing standards for protein quality control (joint effort with the ARBRE biophysics network)
- Comparing baculovirus and mammal expression protocols
- On-going benchmarking of the PROSS algorithm for optimising protein stability
- Crowd-funding initiatives to pool resources e.g. sequencing the Sf21 genome
Taken together, the P4EU facilitates contacts between like-minded scientists in an open atmosphere with the meetings being highly stimulating events with high-quality talks as rich sources of inspiration.