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NIH funds center at Arizona State to battle infectious diseases
Date:9/29/2010

cterial pathogens, their infectious pathways and molecules involved in host defense against the pathogens," Fromme said. "This theme is unique and the results and structures determined by the center will be highly relevant for human health worldwide."

Fromme is an expert in protein structure elucidation. Her group has succeeded in crystallizing and solving the structures of two of the most complex and difficult membrane protein structures to be determined so far, photosystems I and II. These photosystems perform the first and most important step of photosynthesis, the conversion of solar energy into chemical energy, making them the source of energy for all higher life forms on Earth.

The ASU center will feature an interdisciplinary team that includes faculty from the department of chemistry and biochemistry, School of Life Sciences, department of physics and the Biodesign Institute. International membrane protein expert professor Martin Caffrey, of Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, also is involved in the center.

Biodesign's Joshua LaBaer, whose PSI:Biology - Materials Repository -- http://psimr.asu.edu has a valuable plasmid repository with immediate broadly available access, will play an important role in the work. Having been the first to publish in this area, LaBaer's group has the experience necessary to provide the needed high throughput of protein expression and screening.

"The protein structure initiative is a response to one of the grand challenges of biological and medical sciences today," said William Petuskey, chair of chemistry and biochemistry. "Its products will have far reaching impact and we expect that our new center will play a key role in these important advances."


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Contact: Jenny Green
jenny.green@asu.edu
480-965-1430
Arizona State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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