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NIH Funding for Proteomics Research Fell in FY 2008


Funding from the National Institutes of Health for all proteomics-related research shrank by almost 3 percent in fiscal 2008, according to an analysis of NIH data.

For the period covering Oct. 1, 2007, to Sept. 30, 2008, NIH funding for proteomics research declined to $125.6 million from $129.1 million in fiscal 2007.

Additionally, the number of grants the agency awarded slid more than 8 percent to 317 in 2008 from 346 in 2007. In many, if not most, cases, funding received in 2008 represented portions of multi-year grants that began in earlier years.

Grants awarded in 2008 averaged $396,072, up 6 percent from an average of $373,029 in 2007, according to the NIH.

Proteomics-directed grants represented about 0.58 percent of the total 54,644 grants the NIH awarded in 2008, down from 0.62 percent in 2007. In dollar amounts, the grants awarded in 2008 for proteomics represented 0.59 percent of the total $21.2 billion handed out by NIH during the year. In 2007, proteomics grants made up 0.61 percent of the $21.3 billion in NIH awards.

The analysis was performed on a database of all grants awarded by the agency for fiscal 2008 and was based on grants-title search terms such as "proteomics," "proteome," and "mass spectrometer."

The results are not a comprehensive list of all the grants awarded during the year for proteomics research. For example, experiments based on technology other than mass specs, such as protein arrays, are probably insufficiently captured by the results. Also, on their own, NIH data provide no insight into how many proposals the agency rejected in 2008, or why.

One factor that could play a role in shaping the NIH's funding priorities in coming years is the Obama administration. The new president said during his campaign that he would double NIH's budget over the next decade. And some consider Obama's appointment of Harold Varmus and Eric Lander to co-chair the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology as a boon to research-directed funding.

Tony Fong

Proteomics Notes

Agilent Technologies and the National University of Ireland, Galway, announced the opening of a mass spectrometry facility on the Galway campus. The center is outfitted with Aglient's Q-TOF and triple-quadrupole instruments.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute is seeking proposals for the development and enhancement of new proteomics technology to study pathways, molecular interactions, and regulatory signals. Clinical areas of interest include transplantation, cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure, and myocardial ischemia.

The Journal of Proteome Research will now offer its authors the option of having their work published online within three days of acceptance, under a pilot program begun by ACS publications.


Number of biotech and bioinformatics firms and clinicaland proteomics dementia research centers that are part of cNEUPRo.

Funded Grants

$288,960/FY 2009
Providing Peptide Atlas Based Services through the caGRID infrastructure
Grantee: John Boyle, Institute for Systems Biology
Began: Jan. 1, 2009; Ends Jun. 30, 2011
Boyle proposes to integrate PeptideAtlas and caGRID using a software tool. He says that as PeptideAtlas' popularity grows, it will need to be able to support semantics as well as be interoperable with various tools and utilize a distributed system, such as caGRID. Boyle says this will ensure the tool's usage by the research and clinical community.

$603,646/FY 2009
Pathways of Maternal Anemia
Grantee: Michael Fried, Seattle Biomedical Research Institute
Began: Dec. 18, 2008; Ends Nov. 30, 2013
With this grant, Fried will study placental plasma proteome changes due to malarial anemia and will characterize the secretome of the placental immune cells. He will then confirm the malaria anemia pathway proteins in cohorts of Tanzanian women. Fried says that this work will contribute to the understanding of host-pathogen interaction in pregnant women.