Proteins are the workhorses of the human body, carrying out the processes essential to life. But they also are a major factor in disease, making proteins an important target of drug therapies.
To help position Chicago as a leader in the emerging field of proteomics, the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust have awarded a $1.5 million grant to the Chicago Biomedical Consortium (CBC) for the Proteomics/Bioinformatics Demonstration Project. Under the leadership of scientists at Northwestern University, the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), this first initiative of the consortium brings together experimentalists, instrumentalists and informaticians to apply new technology and new analytical techniques to addressing the basic questions of proteomics. As it fosters collaborative research and new partnerships, the CBC is expected to transform how research and training are carried out across the Chicago area. It is anticipated a successful demonstration project will lead to significantly greater grants.
"Proteomics is the new frontier for molecular biology and medicine," said Richard I. Morimoto, John Evans Professor of Biology and Northwestern's CBC liaison. "It is a shift to wellness. If we can understand proteins and their interactions, we can use proteins to tell us how a person's health is at the molecular level -- long before symptoms appear. By listening to these important messages we can take action before disease progresses and tailor drugs to meet individual needs."
Healthy proteins form bone and muscle, fight infection and control metabolism. Unhealthy proteins cause trouble in the cell. Scientists today can investigate the nature and propertie