PNNL wins record $10.2 million NIH grant for proteomics center

RICHLAND, Wash. -- Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has won a five-year, $10.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to support a center for basic research in proteomics, PNNL announced today. It is the largest NIH grant in the Department of Energy lab's 38-year history.

The grant designates PNNL as an NIH research resource center and will establish PNNL as a base for proteomics research worldwide. It will fund the development of advanced instrumentation for studying the large and complex protein sets that constitute biological systems which allow all living things to function. The ability to measure proteins, especially those present in trace amounts, and to observe changes in them is the key to understanding molecular-level cell function and disease progression, treatment and prevention.

"The award will enable PNNL staff to collaborate on important biomedical projects with top NIH-supported researchers," said Dick Smith, a Battelle Fellow at PNNL and director of the resource center housed at the William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory.

"Our new proteomics resource center is built upon unique capabilities that have been developed over the past decade at PNNL" for DOE-supported proteomics research in microbial studies, Smith said. The NIH grant enables PNNL to expand its investigations into more complex mammalian systems relevant to human diseases.

Center capabilities include automated ultra-high resolution mass spectrometers and separation systems for rapid and extremely sensitive characterization of the large, complex and continuously changing protein groups that make an organism and dictate its response and adaptation to its environment. PNNL advances have allowed the study of ever smaller biological samples, and faster, more complete characterization of proteins than ever before.

The resource center will work to further increase the speed and sensitivity of proteome measurements, wit

Contact: Bill Cannon
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

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