A $10.1 million federal grant will help Kansas researchers establish a statewide network for protein research, officials said Tuesday.
The five-year grant, from the Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence, was awarded to Robert P. Hanzlik, professor of medicinal chemistry at Kansas University.
The grant will support six research projects and two laboratories at KU and Kansas State University in the area of proteomics, the study of cellular proteins and their structures, functions and interactions.
"Probably everybody has heard of the role that genes play in controlling various aspects of the development and potential that individual humans, livestock or plants express," Hanzlik said. "But unlike genes, which are essentially constant throughout an individual's life, proteins come and go all the time. Certain proteins are present in cells only at certain times, while others are continuously being modified and later replaced."
By better understanding the structure and function of proteins, and the way they come and go, the researchers will gain a deeper understanding of how proteins work in cells, he said.
The KU researchers receiving support from the grant are Brian Blagg, assistant professor of medicinal chemistry; Heather Desaire, assistant professor of chemistry; Susan Egan, associate professor of biological sciences; William Picking, associate professor of molecular biosciences; Jeffrey Staudinger, assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology; and Anna Zolkiewska, assistant professor of biochemistry.
Also, James Calvet, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the KU Med Center in Kansas City, Kan.; Gunda Georg, distinguished professor of medicinal chemistry; Mary L. Michaelis, professor of pharmacology and toxicology; and George S. Wilson, Higuchi professor of chemistry and pharmaceutical chemistry. Two KSU professors and one from WSU also are included.