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NIGMS to Fund Studies Applying New Tools to Understanding Macromolecular Interactions

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institute of General Medical Sciences plans to provide $6.5 million next year to fund innovative research projects that will apply new life sciences technologies to uncover how macromolecular interactions are involved in high order cellular functioning.

Most cellular functions are mediated by macromolecular complexes comprised of as few as two or as many as hundreds of subunits, and while there is a wealth of knowledge about cellular components, NIGMS said in three new RFAs yesterday, far less is known about the roles these macromolecular interactions play in how cells are organized and function.

Technologies developed over the past decade, including innovations in genomics, genetics, proteomics, microscopy, and computational and systems biology, offer new avenues for studying these interactions, NIGMS noted.

This new funding will support collaborative, interdisciplinary projects that extend the scope of currently-funded research by uniting and integrating these new technologies to untangle complex macromolecular interactions and discover how they are involved in cell function.

Under one of these RFAs, NIGMS plans to use $1.8 million to fund grants of up to $250,000 annually to support collaborative research projects to look into macromolecular interactions.

A second program will provide $1.5 million to fund grants of up to $500,000 per year to expand NIGMS-funded projects studying molecular systems and mechanisms in live organelles, cells, tissues, and organs to include new approaches or enhance their capabilities for studying macromolecular interactions in cells.

NIGMS also will provide $3.2 million in 2014 to fund grants of up to $75,000 to establish interdisciplinary collaborative research networks that will pursue macromolecular interactions and their relationship to function in cells.

These grants will support a broad range of approaches for studying macromolecular interactions, including, but not limited to, research focused on using genomic, proteomic, genetic, and pharmacological screening; physical function and interaction within cells; functional reconstitution using sequences and complexes that have not been studied previously in vitro; and relating functional and physical interactions through systemic mapping.

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