International consortium encourages collaboration

Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) is a public-private partnership dedicated to placing three-dimensional (3-D) structures of proteins of medical relevance into the public domain without restriction (Nature Structure and Molecular Biology 15:116, 2008). Operating out of the Universities of Oxford and Toronto and Karolinska Inst., Stockholm, the SGC receives funding from thirteen public and private sources. The SGC works on structures of human proteins from a target list of ~2,000, which includes those associated with diseases such as cancer, diabetes, inflammation, and genetic diseases, as well as proteins from a target list of 400 proteins from human parasites such as those that cause malaria.

Each of the target proteins is screened against small-molecule libraries in order to identify compounds that promote protein purification or crystallization (Vedadi et al, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 103:15835, 2006).

SGC is launching a visiting scientists program, which is designed to provide selected external scientists with the opportunity to advance projects of mutual interest by working in collaboration with the SGC and with full access to the SGC’s experimental resources. Examples of potential projects include:

•Expression and purification of active, recombinant proteins or complexes;

•Functional (biochemical) characterization of proteins including enzyme assays, protein-protein or protein-small molecule interactions combined with structure determination of proteins and/or complexes.

•Structure determination and biophysical characterization of proteins including stability and activities of SNP variants

The SGC and the visiting scientist would split equally the cost of the research: the SGC will provide funding to cover all experimental and laboratory costs; the Visiting Scientists will be expected to cover their own salaries, accommodation, and living expenses. Interested applicants are encouraged to visit the website and download the application form to outline their project proposal.

Christopher Murdy