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Upcoming NIH Initiatives in Proteomics: a Sneak Peek from HUPO s NIH Presentations


The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease will introduce three new proteomics initiatives in the next year or two, NIDDK proteomics program director Salvatore Sechi said in a presentation at the HUPO Congress. These initiatives complement one that the institute already sponsors, entitled “Proteomics in Diabetes and Other Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases,” (see PM 7-18-03) that is accepting active applications until at least 2006.

The first of the new initiatives, entitled, “Proteomics and Metabolomics in Type I Diabetes and its Complications,” will be put out as an RFA “in a week or two,” according to Sechi. The initiative will “try to facilitate collaborative efforts between researchers in proteomics and diabetes,” Sechi said. Examples of appropriate projects would be the identification of biomarkers for the progression of Type I diabetes, using proteomics techniques to assess a patient’s risk of developing TID, and using proteomics technology to look for drug targets and to study inflammatory processes involved in the disease.

The grant will be funded in two phases. The pilot phase will be funded under the R21 mechanism. Applicants can request up to two years of funding with $250,000 granted for each year. The second phase, funded under the R33 mechanism, will provide awards of up to $500,000 per year for up to three years. The submission date for the RFA will be March 18, 2004, Sechi said. The RFA will be funded under the special funding mechanism for Type I diabetes research. More information can be found after the release:

The second RFA, which Sechi said would be published sometime in 2004 or 2005, will be entitled, “Collaborative Research in Proteomics as it Applies to Obesity.” This grant will fund research on the treatment and prevention of obesity and its co-morbidities, and will promote research collaborations in the study of obesity using proteomics techniques. Examples of appropriate projects would be the identification of biomarkers for the regulation of fat storage, the identification of the proteome of cells and tissues involved in obesity, and the development of treatments and prevention techniques for the disease. Sechi said that the biomarker study could perhaps be linked to the HUPO Plasma Proteome Project.

The third RFA, which Sechi said would come in the future, will fund proteomics research on liver disease.

Sudhir Srivastava of the NCI mostly discussed in his presentation the renewal of the Early Detection Research Network grants for biomarker detection (see PM 10-3-03), but he also mentioned an upcoming new initiative that will be complementary to the EDRN grants, called the “EDRN Protein Array Research Project.” This grant would fund supplementary research for the development of an antibody array that would allow for high-throughput analysis of multiple biomarkers, and the development of qualitative and quantitative methods for the detection of specific proteins. Min Song, also of the NCI, announced several upcoming initiatives that she said would involve proteomics, including funding for innovations in cancer sample preparations, funding for bridging the gap between clinicians and basic scientists in the evaluation of cancer protein signatures, funding for building integrative cancer biology programs, a renewal of the National Cooperative Drug Discovery Groups for Treatment of Cancer grant, and an initiative focusing on fostering multi-disciplinary collaborations in proteomics research, including the development of partnerships between academia and industry, and the development and validation of standardization methods for research.


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