Proteomic research centers target bioterrorism agents, infectious diseases

Blacksburg, Va. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has awarded Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech $2.89 million as part of an $8.74 million contract with Social & Scientific Systems Inc. (SSS) to establish an Administrative Resource for Biodefense Proteomic Research Centers.

Margaret Moore from SSS will serve as principal investigator and Bruno Sobral, VBI professor and director, and Cathy Wu, from Georgetown University Medical Center, will work as co-principal investigators on the project. Sobral will lead VBI's effort to design and implement an integrated Data Management System to collect, store, view, and query proteomics data from all NIAID-funded Proteomics Research Centers.

Proteomics is the systematic study of the proteins in a cell, tissue, or organism to provide scientists with a rich source of biological data. The availability of an interoperable infrastructure and analysis tools through the Pathogen Portal (ToolBus/PathPort) project at VBI allows scientists to use this data to advance scientific research against bioterrorism agents and in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of emerging infectious diseases.

"We are pleased to be involved in NIAID's efforts to improve the nation's defense system against bioterrorism and emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases," said Sobral. "VBI's proven computational abilities with the institute's Core Computational Facility and its successful Pathogen Portal technology will further advance research at the Biodefense Proteomic Research Centers."

The initial proteomics Data Management System will store proteomics information, including source data, experimental protocols, and novel technologies supplied by six Proteomics Research Centers. Free public access to the system and stored information will be provided through a website. Direct queries and client applications will be enabled through VBI's PathPort/ToolBus interface an

Contact: Susan Bland
Virginia Tech

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