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Funding Update: NSF Grants Awarded to Tufts, University of Minnesota, and More

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Recent NSF Awards in Proteomics and Protein Research

Title: Acquisition of a Quadrupole Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer for Proteomics and Metabolomics
Principal Investigators: Kyongbum Lee, David Kaplan, Qiaobing Xu, Lauren Black
Sponsor: Tufts University
Start/End Date: Oct. 1, 2013 – Sept. 30, 2016
Amount Awarded to Date: $388,652

Funds the acquisition of a Q-TOF mass spec for use in analyzing proteins and peptides as well as metabolites and other small molecules.


Title: Scalable Nanomanufacturing of Cyclic Peptide-Based Nanorobots for In Vivo Sensing
Principal Investigator: Mingjun Zhang
Sponsor: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Start/End Date: Sept. 1, 2013 – Aug. 31, 2016
Amount Awarded to Date: $288,948

Funds development of a nanomanufacturing platform for fabricating cyclic peptide-based nanorobots linked to DNA aptamers that can release a target payload in response to binding of a target biomarker to the linked aptamer. These devices can be used for a variety of applications including in vivo sensing and targeted drug delivery.


Title: Acquisition of a MALDI-TOF/TOF Mass Spectrometer for Molecular Structure Determination and Imaging
Principal Investigators:Michael Bowser, Joseph Dalluge
Sponsor: University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Start/End Date: Sept. 1, 2013 – Aug. 31, 2016
Amount Awarded to Date: $285,544

Funds acquisition of a MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spec for applications including characterizing engineered tissues, studying the localization of autophagy markers, and characterizating bioactive proteins and nucleic acids.


Title: Quantitative Biosensing at the Single-molecule Level
Principal Investigator: Joel Harris
Sponsor: University of Utah
Start/End Date: Sept. 1, 2013 – Aug. 31, 2016
Amount Awarded to Date: $400,000

Funds work on developing new microscopy methods to optimize sensors for ultrasensitive detection of biomolecules by quantitative single-molecule imaging.


Title: Optogenetic Dissection of Protein Kinase Networks
Principal Investigators: Alexander Deiters, Jason Haugh
Sponsor: University of Pittsburgh
Start/End Date: Sept. 1, 2013 – Aug. 31, 2016
Amount Awarded to Date: $625,000

Funds research into a method of controlling kinases via light by genetically encoding them to contain a caged lysine residue that allows researchers to activate the enzyme upon exposure to UV light. These reagents will be used to elucidate patterns of kinase signaling.


Title: Profiling Dynamic Changes in Animal Circadian Clock Protein Networks
Principal Investigator:Joanna Chiu
Sponsor: University of California-Davis
Start/End Date: Aug. 1, 2013 – July 31, 2014
Amount Awarded to Date: $149,995

Funds an effort to study the dynamic interactions between circadian oscillator protein complexes and other cellular machinery using mass spec-based proteomics.

The Scan

mRNA-Based Vaccine on the Way in China

China may soon have its own mRNA-based vaccine, according to Nature News.

Arranged Killing, Fraud Alleged by Prosecutors

The Wall Street Journal reports that prosecutors allege that the co-founder of a biotech arranged to have a business associate who threatened to expose him as a fraud killed.

Whirlwind Decade of CRISPR

The New York Times looks back at the 10 years since the University of California, Berkeley's Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues published their CRISPR paper.

PNAS Papers on Blue Cone Monochromacy Structural Variants, HIV-1 Mutant, T-ALL

In PNAS this week: structural variants linked to blue cone monochromacy, HIV-1 variants affecting the matrix protein p17, and more.