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RCSB Protein Data Bank Lands $34.5M in Federal Grants

NEW YORK – The RCSB Protein Data Bank said on Sunday that it has received $34.5 million in operating grants from three US government agencies for the five years that began Jan. 1, 2019, representing a 5 percent increase over the previous five-year funding period.

RCSB Protein Data Bank leaders, based at Rutgers University's New Brunswick, New Jersey, campus, said that the funding boost will allow them to expand the reach of what they said is the only existing open-access, digital data resource for the 3D biomolecular structures of life. 

Christine Zardecki, deputy director of the RCSB Protein Data Bank, told GenomeWeb in an email that the group will "develop new tools for searching PDB structure data and for molecular visualization that can be tailored to support a broader research community."

Funding comes from the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Energy, and three units of the National Institutes of Health.

"It is a public good with far-reaching impacts, and with renewed funding we plan to help usher in a new golden age of structural biology," Stephen Burley, director of the data bank and of the Rutgers Institute for Quantitative Biomedicine, said in a statement.

The RCSB Protein Data Bank currently contains 150,000 3D protein, DNA, and RNA structures, which are freely available. The archive, which was created in 1971 and has been housed at Rutgers since 1998, is growing by about 10 percent annually.