An important component of proteomic research is the high-throughput discovery of novel proteins and protein-protein interactions that control molecular events that contribute to critical cellular functions and human disease. The interactions of proteins are essential for cellular functions. Identifying perturbation of normal cellular protein interactions is vital for understanding the disease process and intervening to control the disease. A second area of proteomics research is the discovery of proteins that will serve as biomarkers for the early detection, diagnosis and drug treatment response for specific diseases. These studies have been referred to as clinical proteomics. To discover biomarkers, proteomics research employs the quantitative comparison of peptide and protein expression in body fluids and tissues from diseased individuals (case) versus normal individuals (control). Methods that couple 2D capillary liquid chromatography (LC) and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) analysis have greatly facilitated this discovery science. Coupling 2D-LC/MS/MS analysis with automated genome-assisted spectra interpretation allows a direct, high-throughput and high-sensitivity identification of thousands of individual proteins from complex biological samples. The systematic comparison of experimental conditions and controls allows protein function or disease states to be modeled. This review discusses the different purification and quantification strategies that have been developed and used in combination with 2D-LC/MS/MS and computational analysis to examine regulatory protein networks and clinical samples.