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Funding Update: Oct 23, 2009


Recent NSF Awards in Proteomics and Protein Research

Title: Physical and chemical alignment of multiple protein surfaces
Principal Investigators: Michael Gleicher; George Phillips; Julie Mitchell
Sponsor:University of Wisconsin-Madison
Start/End Date: Jan. 1, 2010 – Dec. 31. 2012
Award Amounted to Date:$630,660

Funds a project to develop a new approach for studying protein interactions "based on comparing the detailed chemical and physical properties that the molecules create," according to the abstract. In addition, the approach will provide better methods for finding related molecules or understanding the differences similar ones.

Title:Plasmon-enhanced imaging of single membrane proteins
Principal Investigator: Lukas Novotny
Sponsor: University of Rochester
Start/End Date: Oct. 1, 2009 – Sept. 30, 2012
Award Amounted to Date:$399,660

Funds the development of an instrument to image, identify, and characterize single proteins in native cell membranes. According to the grant abstract, the proposal "seeks to fundamentally improve the resolution of optical imaging by exploiting the properties of optical antennas, a new concept in the field of optical physics." Although methods such as NMR and X-ray crystallography provide high-resolution structural details, "they are limited by their static observation and ensemble averaging," the researchers said. Spatial distribution and co-localization of membrane proteins and correlations with membrane topology are largely unknown, as a result. The instrument to be developed uses an optical antenna to localize and enhance incident laser radiation, creating a nanoscale light source, which will be rasterscanned over the surface of a biological membrane with fluorescently labeled proteins. "Each point on the sample surface will be characterized by its unique fingerprint in form of a fluorescence spectrum allowing us to localize, identify and study single proteins," according to the abstract.

Title: An integrative approach to exploration of dynamic protein-protein interaction networks in human platelets
Principal Investigator: Mitsunori Ogihara
Sponsor: University of Miami
Start/End Date: Oct. 1, 2009 – March 31, 2011
Award Amounted to Date: $250,000

Funds the development of generic methods for "exploring the dynamics of [protein-protein interaction] networks using human platelet cells as target and by integrating various information sources, with the eventual goal of being able to identify novel signaling pathways and networks in human platelets," according to the abstract. A new graph model will be developed to capture the dynamic nature of protein-protein interactions