National Institutes of Health awards $15.5 million grant to independent biology lab

August 5, 2002, Berkeley, CA The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) of the National Institutes of Health has awarded the Molecular Sciences Institute a $15.5 million, 5-year grant supporting MSI's Center for Genomic Experimentation and Computation (CGEC). The federal government also named CGEC one of its four Centers of Excellence in Genomic Sciences, an acknowledgement of the MSI's past and future research contributions to the new field of predictive biology. MSI, a nonprofit research laboratory that combines genomic experimentation with computer modeling, is the first independent research institute to be recognized as a Center of Excellence under this program.

"The Center of Excellence in Genomic Sciences program brings together teams of investigators from different disciplines to encourage innovation and lay the groundwork for new genomics approaches to the study of human biology and disease," said Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Human Genome Research Institute. "The NHGRI fosters these extraordinary collaborations because we believe they will produce important but unpredictable insights into genomics."

The grant supports MSI's Alpha Project, an ambitious effort to examine communication within cells and to develop computer models that accurately predict intra-cellular signaling. One ultimate goal of this research is to reveal insights that enable much more precisely targeted treatments for diseases.

"The Human Genome Project has shown us what proteins are encoded by the genome, but we still don't know very much about how individual proteins within cells interact with each other to cause diseases or other complex outcomes. Our work aims to understand this choreography so that we can predict the results of cellular changes, and ultimately, how certain changes contribute to disease," says Roger Brent, Ph.D., scientific director and president of MSI.

"Unique, interdisciplinary approaches t

Contact: Lauren Ha
Molecular Sciences Institute

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