NIH awards $13.3 million to Carnegie Mellon, University of Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH--A team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh has received a five-year, $13.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish a National Technology Center for Networks and Pathways.

The center, headquartered at Carnegie Mellon, will focus on developing fluorescent probe and imaging technologies to investigate regulatory pathways and networks in real-time in living cells. This work will generate powerful molecular biosensors for preclinical research to map the many cell-signaling networks involved in disease. Ultimately, such biosensors will be used in hospital- and office-based diagnostic medicine.

"This award recognizes our visionary science and the collaborative strength of both universities in advancing this exciting new field," said Mark Kamlet, senior vice president and provost of Carnegie Mellon. "This major grant will give us even greater capabilities to produce innovative biotechnologies that impact tomorrow's medicine."

"The further development of discrete intracellular fluorescent probes is the critical next step in exploiting the results of the Human Genome and Human Proteome projects," said physician and scientist Arthur S. Levine, senior vice chancellor and dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. "The combined research resources and research faculty of the two universities promise to move the whole of medical science and medicine forward with an exceptionally exciting and new momentum."

Within any given human cell, hundreds, if not thousands, of proteins may interact in precise cascades when the cell is called upon to yield a necessary product, such as a hormone, or to respond to an environmental stress, according to center faculty. Understanding the elements and dynamics of these cascades in a given cell and in real-time is the key to diagnosing why cells don't function properly and what might be done about that dysfuncti

Contact: Lauren Ward
Carnegie Mellon University

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