Rutgers is on the 'NIH Roadmap'
Archived article from Dec 6, 2004
The National Institutes of Health ‘Roadmap’ program has awarded more than $4 million in grants to partnerships involving institutes and centers at Rutgers and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). The initiatives emphasize interdisciplinary collaboration designed to accelerate biomedical research in the 21st century.
One of the grants was awarded to a group of 34 Rutgers and UMDNJ faculty members affiliated with the following four areas: BioMaPS (Biological, Mathematical and Physical Sciences interfaces) Institute for Quantitative Biology; the Cancer Institute of New Jersey; the Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium (NESG); and the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics/Protein Data Bank (PDB). Two million dollars over five years will support the training of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in the new interdisciplinary field of proteomics – the study of the ever-changing complement of proteins that directs the activities of living cells.
Understanding protein structure, function and interactions can lead to an understanding of the molecular basis of disease. Principal investigator Ronald Levy, co-director of the BioMaPS Institute, and co-principal investigators Gaetano Montelione, director of the NESG, and Helen Berman, director of the PDB, along with other faculty members, will be involved in administering the training grant.
Wilma Olson, the Mary I. Bunting Professor of Chemistry, and BioMaPS Administrative Director Paul Ehrlich won a $445,000 “Roadmap” grant for a joint effort of the Institute and the Center for Molecular Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry. The centerpiece of this initiative is developing short courses to foster interdisciplinary research. Students in quantitative fields, such as mathematics and physics, will receive an in-depth introduction to a topic in biology that should prepare them for collaborating with researchers in that area and ease their entry into other biological fields.
A third grant of $1.85 million will be used to address the computational challenges in the study of large molecular complexes that are relevant to understanding many diseases, such as cancer and metabolic disorders.
The virtual Computational Center for Biomolecular Complexes will bring together scientists from Rutgers, Baylor College of Medicine, the Scripps Research Institute and the University of Texas at Austin who will develop workshops for other scientists as well as undertake pilot studies. Team leader Berman will utilize her experience managing the PDB to develop new computational systems and tools for the large amount of data involved in this work.
Return to the Dec 6, 2004 issue