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July 2005

PNNL part of NIH protein production center contract

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientists are part of the Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium (NESG) (, which has been awarded one of four Large-Scale Production Centers funded as part of the National Institutes of Health's Protein Structure Initiative. The award will initially be funded at $10 million/year and will total more than $50 million over the next 5 years.

PNNL will receive ~$4 million total for its role. The award, which began in July, follows an initial 5-year study by the NESG group, and results from intense competition for a second-phase participation in the Initiative. PNNL scientists Michael Kennedy, John Cort, and Theresa Ramelot in PNNL's Biological Sciences Division are part of the nuclear magnet resonance (NMR) component of the NESG. They will develop improved technologies for NMR-based protein structure characterization and work toward solving the three-dimensional solution-state structure of proteins as part of an overall effort to populate the universe of protein folds found in nature. The team will use the High-Field NMR Facility in the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory and, with supplemental funds from the NIH and the Battelle Memorial Institute, have purchased a 600-MHz NMR spectrometer dedicated to data collection for the NESG project. The team expects to contribute about 60 protein structures to the NESG project over the next 5 years.

This contract win solidifies a strong PNNL role in a major NIH initiative. The NESG is led by Gaetano Montelione, Rutgers University. Other participating institutions are Columbia University, Cornell University, Hauptman Woodward Research Institute, the State University of New York at Buffalo, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the University of Toronto, and Yale University.

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