Rutgers-led consortium awarded $6.5 million by NIH for genomic research

NEW BRUNSWICK/PISCATAWAY, N.J. The National Institute of General Medical Sciences, a unit of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), through its Protein Structures Initiative has awarded more than $6.5 million to a Rutgers-led collaborative research partnership the Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium (NESG).

This one-year grant constitutes the third year of funding for a five-year, $27 million pilot project. Its purpose is to develop technologies required for determining the three-dimensional structure of the wealth of protein molecules whose coding was revealed through the Human Genome Project.

NIH initially funded the five-year project on a year-by-year basis but, based on progress to date, NIH has assured the project's funding for the full five years. NIH has even added a $1.5 million supplement to this year's funding for new robotic equipment that will eliminate a serious process bottleneck in protein sample production.

"Charting these molecular structures will lead us to a clearer understanding of how proteins work and will provide opportunities for the development of new drugs to treat human diseases," said Joseph J. Seneca, university vice president for academic affairs. "Rutgers' leadership role in this major scientific research project affirms the extraordinary expertise and accomplishments of our faculty."

"The completion of the Human Genome Project was not the end of something it was just the beginning, and this is the next big step," said Gaetano Montelione, a resident faculty member of the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine (CABM) and the principal investigator in the consortium. "Rutgers is the core for one of nine NIH-funded pilot projects in large-scale structural genomics, which have the potential to revolutionize the value and impact of structural biology."

"This outstanding program is very important to the continued growth and development of the center and the life sciences

Contact: Joseph Blumberg
732-932-7084 x652
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

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