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Rutgers to lead $52.7 million protein research program

Rutgers University will lead a new $52.7 million research program that will help reveal the roles that proteins play in life's most fundamental processes and point the way to designing new medicines. Under the direction of Rutgers Professor Gaetano Montelione, the Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium (NESG) will conduct the five-year undertaking.

"This grant, one of the largest in Rutgers' history, will reinforce our dynamic position in the biomedical sciences, inspire our researchers toward new discoveries and open new doors to longer and healthier lives," said Richard L. McCormick, president of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

"Federal funding of this magnitude recognizes the caliber of our faculty and the quality of their research, and positions us for broader collaborations with other institutions and industries in New Jersey and beyond. The NESG, and other major programs at Rutgers in structural and computational biology, including the Protein Data Bank and BioMaps, form the basis for plans to greatly expand our efforts in proteomics and related disciplines," added McCormick.

The research program will be funded by the Protein Structure Initiative (PSI) of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), one of the National Institutes of Health. "With demonstrated expertise and achievements in determining the structures of many different types of proteins using a variety of approaches and new technologies, the NESG will be a key member of the PSI network and a valuable asset to the biomedical research community," said John Norvell, director of the PSI.

The PSI program is part of a national effort to find the three-dimensional structures of a wide range of protein molecules, building upon the momentum created by such groundbreaking programs as the Human Genome Project. However, the majority of the proteins coded by the genome have unknown functions and unknown structure.

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Source:Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey


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