Proteomics centers can stop holding their breath. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has announced the ten winners of its $157 million in contracts for academic initiatives to develop new proteomics technologies.
The successful applicants are: the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, the Medical University of South Carolina, the Medical College of Wisconsin, Yale University, the Institute for Systems Biology, Boston University, Stanford University, the University of Texas Medical Branch, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
The contracts run for seven years. Each institute will receive a share of $22 million in funding for the first year, which began October 1. The reviewing committee judged the applicants’ proposals on the basis of innovation, scientific and technical approach, significance, and the applicants’ capabilities in training, experience, and expertise, said Susan Old, NHLBI proteomic program administrator and leader of the institute’s bioengineering and genomic applications scientific research group. In addition, applicants had to prove that their research would have some bearing on diseases of interest to NHLBI. Old said the ten centers will meet periodically during the course of the seven-year project to share ideas and technology.
Ruedi Aebersold, a co-founder of the Institute for Systems Biology and principal investigator for its NHLBI-funded proteomics center, said that his proposal aims to expand the reach of proteomics technology in two directions: towards more automated, high-throughput approaches to analyzing complex protein samples, including multiple analyses of the same system under slightly perturbed conditions; and towards making different types of measurements of proteomes, including properties such as phosphorylation and activation state, changes in linkages, and interactions with proteins as well as other molecules, such as lipids.
Aebersold also said the NHLBI contract will allow ISB to contract out the development of capture agents to SomaLogic, a Boulder, Colo.-based protein chip company. In addition, to meet the requirement to target diseases of significance to NHLBI, Aebersold’s team will study systems such as macrophages, cells which ingest bacteria as part of the immune response to infection.