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Structural genomics, human health research to be enhanced

With the installation of an 850 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer and the research collaborations with children’s hospitals in Ohio, Miami is set to embark on metabonomic research into children’s health and contributions to the national Protein Structure Initiative.

The new NMR in the laboratory of Michael Kennedy, Ohio Eminent Scholar in Structural Biology, will bring together researchers from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center and Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus to work on metabolic profiling of children’s diseases.

To mark the start of this high-level research, noted experts in structural biology and metabonomics participated in a symposium at Marcum Conference Center Nov. 14. An open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the only-one-of-its-size 850 MHz NMR were held in Hughes Labs.

Kennedy (chemistry and biochemistry) has developed a proposal for the Biomedical Research and Commercialization Program (BRCP) of the State of Ohio’s Third Frontier program. Specifically, he has developed collaborations for the “Ohio Consortium for Metabonomics Studies of Children’s Diseases” that aims in its early years to develop and market NMR-based metabolic profiling databases and biomarkers for diagnostics of children’s diseases including gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, cancer and obesity.

Also, with Kennedy’s arrival, Miami joins the Northeast Structural Genomics consortium (NESG), which will solve protein structures for the national Protein Structure Initiative. It’s hoped Miami’s NMR will contribute to identification of 50-100 protein structures over five years, one-tenth of those being pursued by the NESG. Researchers will share the new three-dimensional protein structures in a public database, similar to the recent Human Genome Project.

Date Published: 11/15/2007
Volume: 27   Number: 10

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