Achieving information content of satisfactory breadth and depth remains a formidable challenge for proteomics. This problem is particularly relevant to the study of primary human specimens, such as tumor biopsies, which are heterogeneous and of finite quantity. Here we present a functional proteomics strategy that unites the activity-based protein profiling and multidimensional protein identification technologies (ABPP-MudPIT) for the streamlined analysis of human samples. This convergent platform involves a rapid initial phase, in which enzyme activity signatures are generated for functional classification of samples, followed by in-depth analysis of representative members from each class. Using this two-tiered approach, we identified more than 50 enzyme activities in human breast tumors, nearly a third of which represent previously uncharacterized proteins. Comparison with cDNA microarrays revealed enzymes whose activity, but not mRNA expression, depicted tumor class, underscoring the power of ABPP-MudPIT for the discovery of new markers of human disease that may evade detection by other molecular profiling methods.