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Grant Supports Proteomics Synchrotron Work


The Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine announced it has been awarded a five-year, $4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to fund the school's synchrotron center, where, among other things, novel proteomics approaches are being developed.

While synchrotrons have historically been used in chemistry and physics, the life sciences, especially protein-related studies, are increasingly finding value in the technology. The grant, from NIH's National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, continues a history of funding from the agency to the Case Center for Synchrotron Biosciences stretching back to 1995.
The Case center is based at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, where the National Synchrotron Light Source, built in 1984 and operated by the US Department of Energy, is located.

Worldwide, there are about 60 synchrotrons with hundreds of beamline facilities. The Case center is one of six that receives NIH funding.

In the first year of the grant, the center will receive about $1.1 million, and in each of the four remaining years, it will receive about $750,000. In addition to paying for the eight employees at the center and three staffers who provide off-site support from the university in Cleveland, Ohio, the first-year allotment includes funds for the purchase of a new detector for the center's X-ray spectroscopy program for investigations into metal atoms in proteins at low concentrations and molecular structure around the metal, says Mark Chance, director of the center.

The funding from NIBIB supports technology in three technology cores at the center — the footprinting core, based on the X28C footprinting beamline, provides facilities for the study of protein and nucleic acid structure and function, including in vivo studies. Mass spec-based research, including novel proteomics approaches invented at the center, is also conducted at this core.

The center also has a macromolecular crystallography core based on the X29 undulating beamline.

— Tony Fong

Proteomics Notes

Denator, a Swedish sample prep firm, is heading up a consortium that received $427,000 from the EU Eurostars Programme to
improve how human blood plasma samples are handled to help advance the discovery of blood-based protein biomarkers.

As part of the Chinese Human Liver Proteome Project, researchers have identified 6,788 liver proteins. In the Journal of Proteome Research, they also report a transcriptome data set of 11,205 genes.

Bruker reports that it has received $10 million in orders from stimulus programs in the US, Japan, and Europe, and it expected more NMR, X-ray crystallography, high-end mass spectrometry, and other orders during the second half of the year.


$828 thousand
Funding for an Australian project to look for proteins involved in multiple sclerosis

Funded Grants

$282,202/FY 2009
Metabolomic Investigation of Biosignatures of Chronic Cocaine Exposure
Grantee: Chi Chen, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Began: Sep. 1, 2009; Ends: Aug. 31, 2011

In this work, Chen will use liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry-based approaches to identify small-molecule metabolites linked to chronic drug exposure or drug addiction. Chen and his colleagues will analyze changes to the metabolome due to chronic cocaine use to identify biosignatures in rats. Then, they will examine how treatment affects those biosignatures.

$365,200/FY 2009
Markers for HCV-Related HCC: Plasma Profiling, Targeted Strategies and Validation
Grantee: Laura Beretta, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Began: May 1, 2009; Ends: Feb. 28, 2014

Using her new method to quantify a complex proteome, Beretta and her colleagues will look for proteins and protein isoforms that differ between patients with hepatitis C virus-related cirrhosis that have progressed to hepatocellular carcinoma and those with HCV-related cirrhosis without HCC.

The Scan

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.