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U of Miami Granted $2.6M for Neuron Protein Studies

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The University of Miami has landed a $2.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study how proteins interact with each other to form signaling networks within neurons.

The Grand Opportunities grant, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will support studies using genetics, proteomics, molecular imaging, and high-performance computing to learn how these networks operate in live animals.

The two-year grant will fund the isPIN project, a systemic survey of in situ protein-protein interaction networks in neurons “at every progressive step of development,” the university said.

The isPIN project will create 500 transgenic lines of fruit flies and will focus on 10,000 neuronal protein pairs. Data will be analyzed in the University’s Center for Computational Science.

The first period of the project will focus on neurons in animals under normal conditions, but future expansions may include disease-affected states and non-neuronal cells.

“We envision that our imaging-based surveys will help illuminate the true dynamics of the molecules of life and fundamentally transform today's proteomics, and that the area most impacted by our project will be neuroscience," Akira Chiba, a professor of biology at UM and principal investigator on the grant, said in a statement.

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