Major Initiative To Boost Research on Protein Technologies
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, has launched a major initiative to develop innovative proteomic technologies by creating 10 special centers of research, each funded for 7 years.
Proteomics is the study of all or large groups of proteins in cells, tissues, and organs, and how they respond, interact, and change.
Each new center will focus on different novel technologies related to some aspect of healthy and diseased heart, lung, blood, and/or sleep processes. Ultimately, the research is expected to yield new and improved ways to diagnose and treat heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders.
Altogether, the initiative will award a total of $157 million over 7 years. About $22 million has been awarded to fund the centers' first year.
"These awards take an important step beyond the science of gene research, which has accelerated in recent years and continues to make a huge impact on biomedical research," said NHLBI Director Dr. Claude Lenfant. "However, research at the level of the gene cannot provide a full picture of what's going on within a cell. These state-of-the-art centers will help supply that missing information and so advance biomedical research and clinical care."
"The new initiative provides the kind of sustained support needed for scientists to develop innovative technologies," said Dr. Susan Old, NHLBI Proteomic Program Administrator and Leader of the Institute's Bioengineering and Genomic Applications Scientific Research Group. "The centers also will be encouraged to share ideas and thus spur research even more. A special Web site about the program will be created to provide information about the centers' activities.
"NHLBI also plans to promote proteomic research by making products gained at the centers readily available to other scientists. These products include reagents, techniques, and basic information," continued Old. "This should speed the delivery of potential new clinical applications from research into practice."
Topics to be investigated by the centers include:
- Protein profiling, which quantifies a large number of different proteins in order to reveal molecular pathways
- Post-translation modifications, which examine how modifying a protein's structure alters its function
- Protein interactions, which look at how proteins interact with themselves and various cellular factors
The 10 new NHLBI Proteomics Centers are:
- Three-D Proteomics and Aptemeric Arrays for Cystic Fibrosis at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, in Rockville, MD
- Cardiovascular Proteomics Center at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston
- Development of Novel Mass Spectrometry Tools for Individual Cell Proteome Analysis at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee
- NHLBI Proteomics Center at Yale University in New Haven, CT
- NHLBI Proteomics Center at The Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, WA
- Oxidative Protein Modifications in Cardiovascular Disease at Boston University in MA
- Proteomic Analysis of Blood Components in Autoimmune Disease at Stanford University in Stanford, CA
- Proteomic Technologies to Study Airway Inflammation at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
- Proteomics of Adaptation to Ischemia/Hypoxia in the Heart, Lung, and Blood at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD
- Southwestern Center for Proteomics Research at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas
To interview Old, contact the NHLBI Communications Office at (301) 496-4236.