Nanotechnology Now







Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Broad Institute awarded grant to develop chemical probes for human biology and disease

Image courtesy of Len Rubenstein
Image courtesy of Len Rubenstein

Abstract:
Nearly $90M grant from the National Institutes of Health will support novel research at the interface of genomics and chemical biology to benefit entire research community

Broad Institute awarded grant to develop chemical probes for human biology and disease

Cambridge, MA | Posted on September 2nd, 2008

Researchers at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT today announced that they have been chosen to receive a six-year, ~$86M grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to identify and develop molecular tools known as "small molecules", which can probe the proteins, signaling pathways and cellular processes that are crucial to human health and disease. The Broad Institute is among nine institutions to receive funding under the Molecular Libraries and Imaging Initiative, one of the NIH Roadmap Initiatives for Medical Research. These institutions together comprise a collaborative research network that will conduct high-throughput biological studies and chemical optimization of a diverse collection of small molecules, and openly share their data with the scientific community, yielding knowledge that may bolster the search for novel disease therapies.

"Small-molecule probe and drug discovery enables basic research to impact on human health, and the advances of chemical biology are transforming this discovery process," said principal investigator Stuart Schreiber, director of the Chemical Biology Program at the Broad Institute. "Integrating chemical biology with genome biology, which is a founding principle of the Broad Institute, accelerates the march to new medicines in a magical way."

The molecules of life come in a variety of shapes and sizes. At one end of the spectrum are large macromolecules such as DNA, RNA, and proteins. At the other end are a plethora of chemical compounds that exert effects on human biology by virtue of their relatively small size and their ability to interact directly with biological macromolecules. These so-called small molecules are readily transported through the body and include endogenous substances, such as hormones and neurotransmitters, as well as medicines like aspirin and penicillin.

The six-year NIH grant designates the Broad Institute as one of four Comprehensive Screening Centers in the Molecular Libraries Probe Production Centers Network (MLPCN), where vast collections or "libraries" of small molecules will be screened using high-throughput methods to identify compounds with interesting biological functions.

The NIH award reflects a new chapter in an already rich history of chemical biology and small-molecule screening at the Broad Institute, one that first began at the Harvard Institute of Chemistry and Chemical Biology (ICCB) in 1997. The ICCB, which became a founding asset of the Broad Institute when it was launched in 2003, created the first large-scale, public, small-molecule screening center and served as a model for future initiatives. "At the Broad, we are truly fortunate to have a group of individuals with world-class expertise in nearly all facets of professional, high-throughput, small-molecule science," said Schreiber. "Indeed, we couldn't undertake this work without them."

The development of small molecule probes is an intensive effort that involves more than high-throughput screening of molecular libraries. Before screens can be carried out, months of meticulous work are needed to lay the necessary scientific groundwork. Will chemicals be tested in test tubes or cells? How will the biological effects of small molecules be measured? At the Broad Institute, many of these questions can be addressed by leveraging the power of large-scale approaches such as global gene expression-based screening and high-content cellular imaging.

Once the preliminary work is complete and a screen begins, Broad researchers ensure that all of the data are captured digitally and deposited in public databases. The ICCB and the Broad Institute pioneered this type of public data sharing through their creation of ChemBank, and more recently researchers at the Broad have been contributing to a second public database, PubChem, which is associated with the Molecular Libraries and Imaging Initiative. Follow-up work, including further biological testing and small-molecule optimization, is then required to develop promising small molecules into bona fide molecular probes of human biology. This requires modern organic synthesis, a scientific endeavor that is an underpinning of the Broad Institute.

"The Molecular Libraries Program has cultivated an extremely high-quality collection of small molecules that are wonderfully complementary to the unique collection established at the Broad Institute," said Schreiber. "We are eager to begin exploring the biomedical potential of these chemical compounds, in addition to our own, and to share our results with the global scientific community."


####

About Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT
The Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT was founded in 2003 to bring the power of genome-based knowledge to medicine. It pursues this mission by empowering creative scientists to construct new and robust tools for genomic medicine, to apply them to the understanding and treatment of disease, and to make them freely accessible to the global scientific community.

The Institute’s scientific community is comprised of faculty, professional staff, and students from throughout the MIT and Harvard, and is jointly governed by the two universities.

Organized around scientific programs and platforms, the unique structure of the Broad Institute enables scientists to collaborate on transformative projects across many scientific and medical disciplines.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
7 Cambridge Center
Cambridge, MA 02142
Ph: 617.452.3000
Fax: 617.452.4588

320 Charles Street
Cambridge, MA 02141-2023
Ph: 617.258.0900
Fax: 617.258.0901

Copyright © Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Nanoparticles Increase Durability of Concrete Decorations in Cold Areas January 26th, 2015

Iranian Researchers Boost Solar Cells Efficiency Using Anti-Aggregates January 26th, 2015

Detection of Heavy Metals in Samples with Naked Eye January 26th, 2015

Engineering self-assembling amyloid fibers January 26th, 2015

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Nanoshuttle wear and tear: It's the mileage, not the age January 26th, 2015

Visualizing interacting electrons in a molecule: Scientists at Aalto University and the University of Zurich have succeeded in directly imaging how electrons interact within a single molecule January 26th, 2015

The latest fashion: Graphene edges can be tailor-made: Rice University theory shows it should be possible to tune material's properties January 24th, 2015

Scientists 'bend' elastic waves with new metamaterials that could have commercial applications: Materials could benefit imaging and military enhancements such as elastic cloaking January 23rd, 2015

Nanomedicine

Engineering self-assembling amyloid fibers January 26th, 2015

Promising use of nanodiamonds in delivering cancer drug to kill cancer stem cells: NUS study shows that delivery of Epirubicin by nanodiamonds resulted in a normally lethal dosage of Epirubicin becoming a safe and effective dosage for treatment of liver cancer January 26th, 2015

Teijin to Participate in Nano Tech 2015 January 22nd, 2015

2nd International Conference on Infectious Diseases & Nanomedicine (December 15-18, 2015, Kathmandu, NEPAL) January 22nd, 2015

Announcements

Nanoparticles Increase Durability of Concrete Decorations in Cold Areas January 26th, 2015

Iranian Researchers Boost Solar Cells Efficiency Using Anti-Aggregates January 26th, 2015

Detection of Heavy Metals in Samples with Naked Eye January 26th, 2015

Engineering self-assembling amyloid fibers January 26th, 2015

Grants/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

OCSiAl supports NanoART Imagery Contest January 23rd, 2015

EnvisioNano: An image contest hosted by the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) January 22nd, 2015

Laser-generated surface structures create extremely water-repellent metals: Super-hydrophobic properties could lead to applications in solar panels, sanitation and as rust-free metals January 20th, 2015

NREL Scientist Brian Gregg Named AAAS Fellow: Gregg honored for distinguished contributions to the field of organic solar photoconversion January 20th, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2015 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE