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Northwestern University Team Developing Mass Spec with $1M Grant from Keck Foundation

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The W. M. Keck Foundation has awarded Neil Kelleher, a professor of chemistry at Northwestern University, a $1 million grant to develop a hybrid mass spectrometer, the university announced today.

Kelleher, who is director of the Proteomics Center of Excellence at the university, and collaborators will use the grant to develop a mass spec for research into protein complexes from mitochondria in cells. Specifically, they will develop and apply the instrument for the precise determination of compositions of multi-protein assemblies and study how they change in models of aging and cancer.

Northwestern said that the instrument will result in research that significantly advances protein mass spectrometry, accelerates the understanding of disease on a molecular level, and defines the human proteome.

Navdeep Chandel, a professor of medicine and cell and molecular biology at the Feinberg School of Medicine and a co-investigator on the Keck award, will provide the "biological drivers" for the project. Additionally, Philip Compton, a research associate in the Proteomics Center of Excellence, will oversee development of the mass spectrometer in partnership with a Thermo Fisher Scientific group led by Stevan Horning, senior director of R&D, and Alexander Makarov, director of research for life science mass spectrometry.

Also, John Tran and Adam Catherman will develop new separation methods for protein assemblies.

Earlier this week, the Keck Foundation awarded scientists at the University of Wisconsin at Madison $1 million to develop synthetic biology foundries.

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