NIH News Release
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Wednesday, October 9, 2002

NHLBI Communications Office
(301) 496-4236

Major Initiative To Boost Research on Protein Technologies
NHLBI Launches Innovative Proteomics Centers

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, has launched a major initiative to develop innovative proteomic technologies by creating 10 special centers of research, each funded for 7 years.

Proteomics is the study of all or large groups of proteins in cells, tissues, and organs, and how they respond, interact, and change.

Each new center will focus on different novel technologies related to some aspect of healthy and diseased heart, lung, blood, and/or sleep processes. Ultimately, the research is expected to yield new and improved ways to diagnose and treat heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders.

Altogether, the initiative will award a total of $157 million over 7 years. About $22 million has been awarded to fund the centers' first year.

"These awards take an important step beyond the science of gene research, which has accelerated in recent years and continues to make a huge impact on biomedical research," said NHLBI Director Dr. Claude Lenfant. "However, research at the level of the gene cannot provide a full picture of what's going on within a cell. These state-of-the-art centers will help supply that missing information and so advance biomedical research and clinical care."

"The new initiative provides the kind of sustained support needed for scientists to develop innovative technologies," said Dr. Susan Old, NHLBI Proteomic Program Administrator and Leader of the Institute's Bioengineering and Genomic Applications Scientific Research Group. "The centers also will be encouraged to share ideas and thus spur research even more. A special Web site about the program will be created to provide information about the centers' activities.

"NHLBI also plans to promote proteomic research by making products gained at the centers readily available to other scientists. These products include reagents, techniques, and basic information," continued Old. "This should speed the delivery of potential new clinical applications from research into practice."

Topics to be investigated by the centers include:

The 10 new NHLBI Proteomics Centers are:

To interview Old, contact the NHLBI Communications Office at (301) 496-4236.

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