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NIH Offers $1.5M for PSI:Biology Respository

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institute of General Medical Sciences will use a $1.5 million grant to fund the creation of a new repository for its Protein Structure Initiative:Biology program.

The PSI:Biology Materials Repository (MR) will be a resource for the collection, validation, storage, and distribution of the expression and sequence clones that are generated in the PSI:Biology centers in order to make these materials available to the biomedical research community. The repository will be a separate entity that will have links to the PSI:Biology network's Knowledgebase.

The NIGMS-funded PSI:Biology initiative is aimed at testing whether organized networks of investigators involved in protein structure determination can be used to study a wide range of problems.

The initiative is funding centers for high-throughput structure determination, centers for membrane protein structure determination, consortia for high-throughput-enabled structural biology partnerships, a structural genomics knowledgebase, and the MR.

The main functions of the MR will be to maintain a centralized collection of sequence and expression clones generated by PSI centers and the PSI:Biology network; providing long-term storage, cryopreservation, and distributing clones to researchers at a minimal cost; archiving the PSI clones, providing quality control and standardization; standardizing the processing and sample characterization of the clones; and implementing a strategy for applying terms and conditions of transfer agreements for the clones.

The institution awarded the funding for the resource also will be responsible for handling publicity and outreach about the program, and it will publicize the utility and uniqueness of the clones to targeted audiences, such as attendees at scientific meetings.

Other efforts NIGMS expects the MR to undertake include finding ways to enhance the value of the resource and providing better support to the structural genomics research community without duplicating existing efforts.

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