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NIH to Fund Inner Ear Proteomics Studies

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders will fund scientists seeking to use proteomics to study inner ear development and diseases.

NIDCD said in a funding announcement that while gene sequence and transcript profiling "have made significant advances" technologically and in their use, there is a need for more information of catalog protein content "within many important cell types and tissues of the auditory sensory system." The size and the duration of the grants may vary depending on the demands of the particular project, NICDC said.

Identifying both genes and the regulation of their corresponding proteins is important for understanding abnormal developmental processes, genetic disorders, and environmental noise trauma, NIDCD said.

While microarrays and other transcript sensing technologies have been successful in increasing the number of candidate genes for diseases of the auditory system, there are still "interpretive limitations" to understanding the related protein function, NIDCD said.

The institute listed the following examples of the kind of research projects this grant program could cover including proteomic analysis of specific cell types of the inner ear and/or their subcellular structures; proteomic analysis of specific otocyst cell/tissue types through a variety of developing stages; comparative analysis between proteome and transcriptome of a defined auditory cell and/or tissue type; comparative determination between proteomic and transcriptome results; proteomic analysis of auditory genetic disorders, environmental noise or drug trauma; development of novel proteomic bioinformatics as related to annotating genomic and protein sequence information for auditory function, and others.

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