The human dark proteome consists of the approximately one third of proteins in the human proteome that are disordered and therefore “unseen” by traditional structural biology methods. Recent discoveries and technological developments create unprecedented opportunities to advance this important new field of science and will profoundly impact our understanding of and ability to combat devastating diseases such as cancer, diabetes, infectious disease, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative disorders. The seven-point mission of the HDPI is to:
- Create a dark proteome research coordination network to foster collaborations and promote communication amongst researchers in the US.
- Catalyze the creation of multiple centers of excellence to establish US leadership in researching the basic science of the human dark proteome and translating this science into cures for devastating diseases.
- Foster cooperation between federal agencies to provide funding to address challenging biological and biomedical problems involving the dark proteome.
- Advocate on behalf of researchers to draw attention to the human dark proteome and its myriad roles in human biology and disease.
- Stimulate the growth of cutting-edge infrastructure to facilitate collaborative research into the dark proteome through shared instrumentation and resource grants.
- Coordinate outreach to private foundations and philanthropic organizations to encourage independent support of research into the dark proteome aimed at finding transformative cures.
- Collaborate with industry partners by serving as a liaison between US researchers and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to facilitate discovery of next-generation therapeutics.