Yale Center for Genomics and Proteomics Awards First Round of Pilot Grants

The Yale Center for Genomics and Proteomics, which was established last year with an investment of over $200 million from the University, has announced its first round of pilot grants to members of the faculty.

These grants will provide pilot funding to several visionary large-scale projects that will bring together investigators from various disciplines, and it is expected that they will stimulate research leading to large multi-million-dollar initiatives.

Seven awards totaling $300,000 were made from 37 proposals that were submitted to the Center. All proposals were peer reviewed by a faculty committee.

Yale Provost Susan Hockfield, the William Edward Gilbert Professor of Neurobiology, said, “I can think of no better way to inaugurate Yale’s Center for Genomics and Proteomics than through the new collaborative research projects. These projects manifest one of the central goals of the Center, bringing together faculty from across the University to exploit the power of the emerging technologies in genomics and proteomics.”

“The pilot grants are a great way to stimulate integrative and cutting-edge research projects for the Center,” said Michael Snyder, the Lewis B. Cullman Professor and Chair of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, and with Sherman Weissman, co-scientific director of the Center. Snyder is also Sterling Professor of Genetics and Director of molecular oncology and development at the Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine.

The first round of grant recipients and their proposal titles are: Pietro De Camilli and Markus Went, “Lipid profiling of organelles, cells and tissues in different genetic backgrounds and functional states”; Savithramma Dinesh-Kumar, Xing-Wang Deng, Michael Snyder and Mark Gerstein, “Towards development of Arabidopsis proteome chip”; Valerie Reinke and six colleagues at other institutions, “Development of C. elegans protein arrays”; Kevin White, Lynn Cooley, Tian Xu and Allen Bale, “Completion of the Drosophila genomic microarray project”; Michael Donoghue, Gisella Caccone and Anne Yoder, “A Yale cryo-preservation facility to serve comparative genomics and the Tree of Life Initiative”; Sherman Weissman, Mark Gerstein, Perry Miller and Michael Snyder, “Systems for enhancing and inhibiting gene expression in mammalian cells”; Timothy Nelson, Xing-Wang Deng and Hongyu Zhao, “Tissue- and cell-specific expression profiling of the rice genome.”

“This pilot grant program is a great way to advance our initiative on Arabidopsis research at Yale,” said grant recipient Dinesh-Kumar. “The grant will help us generate results that should allow us to procure future federal funds from the Arabidopsis 2010 program.”

Pietro De Camilli said, “Profiling of lipids is a novel and independent approach to systematic analysis of biological systems. It adds an additional layer of information to genomic and proteomic data and represents a powerful new tool for the analysis of gene function.”

These projects, encompassing a range of animal and plant systems and engaging scientists from many departments in the basic sciences and the Yale School of Medicine, further the aim of creating a center without walls. The pilot projects span several levels of biological organization ranging from molecules to organelles, to cells, tissues and whole organisms. The Center is actively assembling state-of-the art instrumentation to support these pilot research grants. The facilities will be open to all Yale investigators, and the Yale Center for Genomics and Proteomics expects to fund a second round of pilot grants in 2003.

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Karen N. Peart: karen.peart@yale.edu, 203-432-1326