The Next Wave: Quantum-Si’s Role in the Proteomics Revolution

A photo of John Vieceli

By John Vieceli, Ph.D., SVP of Product Development

I recently had the privilege of attending the AGBT conference in Orlando where I reconnected with colleagues and friends after dedicating 15 years of my career to developing sequencing technologies at Pacific Biosciences, Omniome, and Illumina. It was inspiring to witness the diverse applications of genomics technologies to human disease research, environmental studies, and even space travel. The remarkable innovations showcased at the conference underscore the rapid progress made in the genomics field over the last twenty-five years.

Although I now work at Quantum-Si on Next-Generation Protein Sequencing™ (NGPS), attending a genomics-focused conference felt like a natural fit. Much of the focus from sequencing tools providers is on spatial sequencing and using DNA sequencers for systems biology studies. Within the central dogma of molecular biology, it is very clear that the genomics field has now broadened from DNA to the next step in genetic information flow, RNA. After that, the next wave of opportunity lies in understanding proteins. As genomics advances have decoded the blueprint of biology, the need for tools in proteomics has become evident to understand how that blueprint is translated into function. Quantum-Si’s development of its Next-Generation Protein Sequencer™, Platinum®, is poised to revolutionize biology by providing researchers with a convenient, benchtop protein sequencer that delivers fast, cost effective results.

During the conference, I presented a poster on next generation protein sequencing using Platinum, which garnered significant interest from both genomics tools providers seeking to understand the technology and potential customers eager to explore its applications in protein studies. Genomicists are inherently interested in proteomics because it offers a glimpse into DNA and RNA in action. Although the representation of proteomics at the conference was limited, I believe this is a temporary situation. I envision future AGBT conferences not only focusing on Advances in Genome Biology and Technology but also on advances in protein biology. In the coming years, scientists will seamlessly integrate genomic and proteomic data, answering questions and sharing data at an unprecedented scale and rate. The human genome project marked a transformative moment in biology, significantly improving our understanding of the field. Now, we stand on the brink of another revolution in proteomics, with NGPS using Platinum from Quantum-Si playing a pivotal role in enabling it.

John Vieceli, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Product Development (Bio)

John Vieceli, Ph.D. is Quantum-Si’s Senior Vice-President of Product Development.  He is an accomplished senior leader with nearly two decades of experience building and mentoring technical teams, bringing early-stage technology development to market, and leading strategic programs. Dr. Vieceli joined QSI in December 2022.

Prior to that, he held leadership positions at various next generation DNA sequencing companies, including Illumina, Omniome, and Pacific Biosciences. His work has focused on areas such as bioinformatics, image and signal processing, and computer subsystems for sequencing instruments. Dr. Vieceli was awarded the Illumina Annual Innovation Award in 2022 for signal processing improvements that resulted in significantly higher sequencing accuracy. Prior to that, his technical work on patterned flow cells and new sequencing chemistries played a key role in driving down the cost of human genome sequencing below $1,000 at Illumina. He is an inventor on over 25 patent filings in the areas of nanofabrication, signal processing algorithms, and assay development and an author on over 20 publications in DNA sequencing and surface chemistry. Dr. Vieceli received his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physical Chemistry from the University of California, Santa Cruz and his B.S. in Biology and Chemistry from Santa Clara University.