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BioInform s Funding Update: NSF Bioinformatics Awards to June 19, 2004

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Prediction and Validation of Phospho-Regulatory Sites in Crop Plant Proteomes. Start date: June 2004. Expires: January 2006. Expected total amount: $691,501. Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Harper. Sponsor: University of Nevada, Reno.

Project to use bioinformatics to predict a subset of potentially important sites of phospho-regulation in the rice proteome, and then use a peptide-based experimental strategy to start validating those predictions. Aims include improving bioinformatics tools to identify motifs involved in phospho-signaling in plants; conducting a clustering analysis of all Ser- and Thr-containing sub-sequences in plant proteomes; designing a peptide array platform to profile kinase activities in vitro; and identifying peptides that can disrupt in vivo signaling pathways.


Developing High Throughput Protein Network Analysis to Determine the Function of Unknown Rice Genes. Start date: June 2004. Expires: November 2005. Expected total amount: $199,949. Principal investigator: Richard McCombie. Sponsor: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

Funds a project that will use high-throughput proteomics to determine gene function based on the cellular interaction network of encoded proteins in rice. The information will be captured in a publicly available database that will enable construction of broadly based protein interaction maps of rice.


REU Summer Program in Computational Biology. Start date: June 2004. Expires: August 2007. Expected total amount: $69,961. Principal investigator: Jonathan Bell. Sponsor: University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Funds an eight-week summer course in computational biology for undergraduates. Students will select a research topic from either bioinformatics or computational neuroscience.


Software for Micro RNA Detection and Analysis. Start date: July 2004. Expires: December 2004. Expected total amount: $98,909. Principal investigator: Gary Fogel. Sponsor: Natural Selection.

Phase I SBIR funds development of a neural network method for identifying functional RNA molecules, specifically with extension to eukaryotes. The commercial application of this project will be in the area of antisense RNA therapeutics.

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