NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The University of Michigan will create a new molecular data center that will serve as a free resource for drug designers and pharmacology software developers, according to the National Institutes of Health.
The five-year program, called the Community Structure-Activity Resource, will receive up to $5 million over five years through the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.
The CSAR will collect molecular data from existing resources, will work with other researchers to generate new data, and will be involved in collecting unpublished data from researchers at pharmaceutical companies.
"If we know the structure of a compound bound to a drug target, we should be able to tell how tightly the compound binds — information critical to drug development,” NIGMS Director Jeremy Berg said in a statement.
“But, in practice, we are not able to do this well enough to contribute significantly to research progress,” he said. "This resource has been established to make important structural and binding data available so researchers can tackle this problem."
The program will be led by UM College of Pharmacy chemist Heather Carlson, who will oversee the development and operation of CSAR.
The researchers also will use Carlson’s Binding MOAD (“Mother of All Databases”), which holds over 11,000 protein-ligand complexes, and the PDBbind database, which provides experimentally measured binding data.
CSAR scientists also will try to use experiments to close gaps in the data, and will sponsor community-wide events to spur more scientific collaboration.