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NHLBI to Start Third Proteomics Program

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With its two major proteomics programs winding down, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute is embarking on its next major program, which calls for researchers to develop proteomics technologies and apply them to solve clinical puzzles.

In late January the institute put out an RFP for a new proteomics program, which combines the goals of two earlier programs that are set to expire in the coming months. In one, researchers were tasked with developing validation methods for proteomics research. In the other, awardees were asked to develop new proteomics technology.

In the new program, set to start early next year, awardees will be charged with "using novel technology approaches to answer a clinical [question], to try and understand the mechanisms that underpin" diseases, says Pothur Srinivas, a program director at NHLBI.

The institute expects to give out awards to seven research teams. Each team will receive an average of $1.9 million each year for up to six years in direct and indirect costs, depending on the scope of the project. The awards are expected to be made on or about Jan. 13, 2010. The deadline for submitting a proposal is May 20. A letter of intent is due April 20.

NHLBI is leaving it completely open as to the technology that will be used and direction of the research. NHLBI says it is seeking an integrative approach, however, and each awardee is expected to put together a team with expertise in multiple disciplines "to advance proteomic applications in heart, lung, blood, and sleep diseases and disorders," acording to the solicitation. Areas of expertise include chemistry, physics, bioinformatics, and engineering, as well as proteomics.

Each team will address specific clinical areas using three approaches: -proteomic technology development; "mechanistic and functional understanding of the proteome, its interactions, and dynamics;" and clinical application of the technology and discoveries.

— Tony Fong


Proteomics Notes

Proteome Sciences has received ISO certification in Germany for its contract research lab in Frankfurt.

NextGen Biosciences sold its electrophoresis business to Sigma-Aldrich as part of its decision to focus its business exclusively on biomarker discovery and validation services.

A draft release of the Human Proteome Organization's Proteomics Standards Initiative's AnalysisXML, a format to be used to report results from different database search engines using mass spec data, is ready for public comment.

Pfizer will be using Xencor's Xtend antibody half-life prolongation technology and XmAb ADCC-enhancing technology for several discovery-phase projects.


Datapoint

€3 million
Amount the European Commission provided to a new consortium to develop a high--throughput cancer biomarker research platform.

Funded Grants

$456,250/FY 2009
Revealing the HIV-1 Interactome
Grantee: Mark Ayer Muesing, Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center
Began: Feb. 15, 2009; Ends Jan. 31, 2014

To identify cellular proteins needed for HIV-1 propagation, Muesing will use a random mutagenic protocol to find sites in the HIV proteome that can be easily tagged. Then with a cryogenic methodology, he will capture viral-host interactions during immunoisolation and will use a mass spectrometry technique to discriminate between specific and nonspecific proteins.

$325,074/FY 2009
Human Skeletal Muscle Proteome and Phosphoproteome in Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes
Grantee: Zhenping Yi, Arizona State University, Tempe
Began: Feb. 1, 2009; Ends Jan. 31, 2013

Yi plans to analyze proteins from muscle biopsies of lean-healthy, obese non-diabetic, and type 2 diabetic volunteers with HPLC-nanospray tandem mass spectrometry to determine which proteins interact with insulin receptor substrate-1 and how interactions change in diabetes and obesity. He also plans to quantify the proteins phosphorylated in the insulin signaling pathway.

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