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Funding Update: Jan 4, 2010

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Recent NSF Awards in Proteomics and Protein Research

Title: Instrumentation for In Situ CLEM (Correlated Light and Electron Microscopy)
Principal Investigator: Cheryl Hartfield
Sponsor: Omniprobe
Start/End Date: Jan. 1, 2010 – June 30, 2010
Amount Awarded to Date: $150,000

The project will demonstrate the "scientific and technical feasibility of an optical microscope accessory for electron and ion microscopes to enable in situ brightfield and fluorescence microscopy simultaneously with electron or ion imaging/processing," according to the abstract. Directly addressing a "critical opportunity in … correlative light and electron microscopy, a fundamental application applied broadly in structural biology for advancing understanding of health and disease," the research could speed up discovery and development of biomarkers for clinical research and drug discovery, the abstract added.


Title: Arabidopsis 2010: An Isotope-Assisted Quantitative Phosphoproteomics Approach to AtHK1-Mediated Osmosignaling in Arabidopsis thaliana
Principal Investigator: Michael Sussman
Sponsor: University of Wisconsin
Start/End Date: Dec. 15, 2009 – Nov. 30, 2010
Amount Awarded to Date: $390,500

According to the abstract, the project will advance understanding of plant response mechanisms "by defining the specific molecular steps involved in transmitting environmental signals to plant cells." Using mass spectrometry, researchers will aim to identify proteins modified by phosphorylation as part of important signaling pathways. Initially, focus will be on AtHK1, a plasma membrane histidine kinase that acts as a sensor and responds to changes in the availability of water to plant cells. The researchers previously developed and refined robust quantitative proteomics technologies using isotope-assisted quantitation by mass spectrometry. "These advanced methods will enable identification of groups of phosphoproteins that act in concert in response to important environmental changes, such as drought," they said in the abstract. "The quantitative proteomic measurements will simultaneously provide insights into the response specific for water sensing as well as define a useful paradigm for applying this technology by members of the plant community."


Title: Development of a 21 Tesla Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometer
Principal Investigator: Alan Marshall
Sponsor: Florida State University
Start/End Date: Dec. 1, 2009 – Nov. 30, 2013
Amount Awarded to Date: N/A

The award funds the design, construction, and optimization of a 21 Tesla ultrahigh-resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer. Applications will focus on top-down proteomics, petroleomics, and hydrogen/deuterium exchange to map contact surfaces in biomacromolecular complexes.


Title: Design and Fabrication of the 21 Tesla Magnet
Principal Investigator: Alan Marshall
Sponsor: Florida State University
Start/End Date: Dec. 1, 2009 – Dec. 31, 2009
Amount Awarded to Date: $15,000,000

The award supports the development and acquisition of a 21 Tesla superconducting magnet for an ultrahigh-resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer.

The Scan

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Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.