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Funding Update: NSF Grants Awarded to Tymora Analytical, UCSD, Utah State University

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Recent NSF Awards in Proteomics and Protein Research

Title: Development of Novel Dendrimer-based Technologies for Phosphorylation Analyses
Principal Investigator: Anton Iliuk
Sponsor: Tymora Analytical Operations
Start/End Date: Feb. 15, 2013 – Jan. 31, 2015
Amount Awarded to Date: $500,000

Supports the development of improved approaches for phosphorylation analyses. "The technologies will enable general phosphorylation detection, cost-effective cancer inhibitor screenings, and kinase/phosphatase activity quantitation for new drug discovery," according to the grant abstract.


Title: Designer Proteases for Complete Proteomics
Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Komives
Sponsor: University of California-San Diego
Start/End Date: Jan. 1, 2013 – Dec. 31, 2015
Amount Awarded to Date:$235,825

This project aims to design proteases from alpha-lytic protease with "new and different" substrate specificities. The investigators will develop new methods to determine the primary structure of proteins, in particular to determine which amino acids are post-translationally modified. According to the grantees, the most common protease used for cleavage, trypsin, "produces enough peptides to provide sufficient unique protein sequence for protein identification, but more complete coverage of protein sequences is required for post-translational modification localization." They note that preliminary results show that alpha-lytic protease is ideal for proteomics "because a few active site mutations alter its substrate specificity towards either small aliphatic residues or large hydrophobic residues."


Title: Tunable On-Demand Microfluidic Separations Using Traveling Wave Electrophoresis
Principal Investigator: Boyd Edwards
Sponsor: Utah State University
Start/End Date: May 31, 2012 - June 30, 2014
Amount Awarded to Date: $238,136

Funds development of a new technique for microfluidic separations called traveling-wave electrophoresis, or TWE. The technique uses an electric field wave produced by interdigitated electrode arrays to transport charged species through a microchannel. The investigators intend to assess the use of the technique to separate complex mixtures of peptides and other biomolecular systems. According to the grant abstract, the investigators are also working with a commercial firm, Protea, to develop commercial products for protein analysis.

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