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Dowling College, RIT Land NIH Funds for Protein Function Studies

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – New York's Dowling College and Rochester Institute of Technology have won a $417,000 grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences to develop and use computer algorithms to study the structure and function of proteins, Dowling said today.

The research team will use the research enhancement award funding to continue developing promising algorithms for investigating the probable function of biologically significant macromolecules.

The researchers leading the study, Herbert Bernstein of the Dowling College Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and Paul Craig of the RIT Department of Chemistry, will work with their students to study ways to improve techniques for assigning probable functions to proteins in the Protein Data Bank.

There are several competing approaches for estimating function from the three-dimensional structure of proteins. This project will use active sites where proteins interact with other molecules because it enables "much faster processing," according to Dowling.

The sites the researchers plan to focus on have been identified in the Catalytic Site Atlas using site templates and new templates created by scientists at RIT.

Dowling said that preliminary tests of this technique have produced promising results.

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