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Funding Update: Jun 18, 2009


Recent NSF Awards in Proteomics and Protein Research

Principal Investigator: Sheldon Broedel
Sponsor: Athena Environmental Sciences
Start/End Date: July 1, 2009 – Dec. 31, 2009
Award Amounted to Date: $100,000
Title: Fully Integrated Seamless Protein Production and Purification System

Funds a project aimed at "demonstrating the technical feasibility of building an automated system for the large-scale production of recombinant proteins," according to the abstract. The device would be designed to provide low-cost, high-throughput production at bench scale and to have the flexibility for a fully automated commercial scale production system.

Principal Investigator: Jay Lennon
Sponsor: Michigan State University
Principal Investigators: Steven Wilhelm and Nathan VerBerkmoes
Sponsor: University of Tennessee
Start/End Date: June 15, 2009 – May 31, 2012
Award Amounted to Date: Lennon, $199,093; Wilhelm and VerBerkmoes, $299,798
Title: Collaborative Research: Characterizing the Constraints on Virus Infection of Cyanobacteria

According to the researchers, though it is well-known that viruses play an important part in regulating the structure and function of marine ecosystems, missing is a mechanistic understanding of how bacteria cell receptors constrain virus infection. The project seeks to identify receptors for three known groups for cyanophage on the outer membrane of the marine cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. WH7803. They will generate virus resistant Synechococcus populations using chemostats, "narrow the mutants using fluorescent virus tags that monitor surface attachment," and characterize the outer membrane protein compliment of the resistant populations using LC-MS/MS analyses, according to the abstract.

Principal Investigator: N/A
Sponsor: Michelle Meighan
Start/End Date: June 1, 2009 – May 31, 2010
Award Amounted to Date: $5,678
Title: EAPSI: Development of a Novel Electrophoretic Counterflow Separations Technique for Protein Analysis

Supports a US graduate student to conduct research at one of seven locations in East Asia or the Pacific region. The primary goals of the East Asia Summer Institute program are to expose students to science and engineering "in the context of a research laboratory, and to initiate early-career professional relationships that will foster research collaborations with foreign counterparts in the future," according to the abstract.

Principal Investigator: Hao Chen
Sponsor: Ohio University
Start/End Date: June 1, 2009 – May 31, 2012
Award Amounted to Date: $314,275
Title: The Study of Ion/Ion Reactions at Atmospheric Pressure by Ambient Neutral Re-ionization Mass Spectrometry and Ambient Soft Landing

Supports research to improve the understanding of mechanisms of ion/ion reactions that are important for characterizing a range of molecules, including proteins. The approach comprises structural analysis of neutral and ionic products of gaseous ion/ion reactions at atmospheric pressure. Ionic products are analyzed by mass spectrometry while neutral products are reionized using on-line extractive electrospray ionization prior to mass analysis. "Additionally, 'soft landing' is used to collect both neutral and ionic reaction products for further structural elucidation," according to the abstract.

Principal Investigator: John Stiller
Sponsor: East Carolina University
Start/End Date: May 15, 2009 – April 30, 2010
Award Amounted to Date: $39,078
Title: SGER-Comparative proteomics of the RNAP II CTD in red and green algae

The project being funded is to develop an "innovative approach to address one of the most vexing problems in comparative evolution, genomics and proteomics; that is, the origin of green plants and, specifically, whether they share a sister relationship with red algae," according to the abstract. Comparative sets of proteins binding the RNA polymerase II C-terminal domain will be identified experimentally in respective green plant and red algal models. Phospho-CTD-associated proteins will be isolated and identified from the rhodophyte Cyanidioschyzon merolae and chlorophyte Chlamydomonas rheinhardii.

Principal Investigator: Mary Cloninger and Ruben Ceballos
Sponsor: Montana State University
Start/End Date: May 15, 2009 – April 30, 2010
Award Amounted to Date: $94,900
Title: Mountains and Minds: A Program in Chemical Biology

This REU program is jointly hosted by the Montana State University department of chemistry and biochemistry and the Native American Research Laboratories of the University of Montana. Students participating in the program will "perform frontier research at the interface of chemistry and biology," according to the abstract, and research projects include areas such as proteomics, protein-protein interactions, protein-macromolecule interactions, protein-small molecule interactions, protein structure-function relationships, enzymology, and small molecule synthesis.

Principal Investigator: Gloria Muday and Jacquelyn Fetrow
Sponsor: Wake Forest University
Principal Investigator: Brenda Winkel and Richard Helm
Sponsor: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Start/End Date: May 1, 2009 – April 30, 2010
Award Amounted to Date: Muday and Fetrow, $274,984; Winkel and Helm, $206,551
Title: Arabidopsis 2010 Project Collaborative Research: Modeling Biological Networks in Arabidopsis through Integration of Genomic, Proteomic, and Metabolomic Data

Funds a project in which six research groups will establish biological framework models integrating gene expression, protein expression, and metabolite production "into a comprehensive map of phenylpropanoid function, signaling, and metabolism in Arabidopsis thaliana," according to the abstract. "This project addresses the priorities of the 2010 project by collecting one of the first unified sets of time course gene expression, protein expression, and metabolite data and then use emerging computational methods to combine these comprehensive data sets in order to create testable models of integrated biological networks," the authors added in the abstract.

The Scan

International Team Proposes Checklist for Returning Genomic Research Results

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics present a checklist to guide the return of genomic research results to study participants.

Study Presents New Insights Into How Cancer Cells Overcome Telomere Shortening

Researchers report in Nucleic Acids Research that ATRX-deficient cancer cells have increased activity of the alternative lengthening of telomeres pathway.

Researchers Link Telomere Length With Alzheimer's Disease

Within UK Biobank participants, longer leukocyte telomere length is associated with a reduced risk of dementia, according to a new study in PLOS One.

Nucleotide Base Detected on Near-Earth Asteroid

Among other intriguing compounds, researchers find the nucleotide uracil, a component of RNA sequences, in samples collected from the near-Earth asteroid Ryugu, as they report in Nature Communications.