NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
June 28, 2005 • Volume 2 / Number 26 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Special ReportSpecial Report

BSA Approves Proteomics Initiative

NCI's Board of Scientific Advisors (BSA) yesterday approved the Clinical Proteomics Technologies Initiative, a $104 million program aimed at optimizing current proteomics technologies and developing the new technologies, reagents, systems, and working consortia to significantly advance the field of cancer proteomics research. At its last meeting in March, BSA deferred action on the initiative, requesting that NCI staff work with a board subcommittee to further refine and develop the proposal to address several specific issues.

That process, noted subcommittee chair Dr. Joe Gray, director of the Division of Life Sciences at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, generated a superior product that addressed the issues raised by BSA.

"The revised proposal reflecting BSA's input builds on a 2-year process that sought feedback from the research community through workshops and meetings," said Dr. Anna Barker, NCI deputy director for Advanced Technologies and Strategic Partnerships. "We heard over and over again from across the cancer research enterprise that we need to provide the community with specific support to advance the field of proteomics," Dr. Barker stated, especially in the areas of technology, reagents, bioinformatics, and data standards to ensure reproducibility and comparability of data.

The initiative, she added, is not "all encompassing." Rather, it's "a step forward," meant to bring the field of proteomics "to a point where we can move ahead … hopefully very quickly."

The initiative, explained Dr. Greg Downing, director of NCI's Office of Technology and Industrial Relations, encompasses a three-pronged strategy:

  • Establishment of Clinical Proteomic Technology Assessment Consortia, which will be comprised of multidisciplinary teams from different institutions focused on evaluating tools, such as proteomic technologies and reference reagents; developing protocols and performing cross-laboratory studies of common sample sets; and also providing consultative services and training to the community. This component will use the U24 funding mechanism.
  • Support of research into overcoming barriers to protein/peptide feature detection, identification, and quantification; and development of mathematical, computational, and predictive approaches for analysis of large scale data. This component will use the R01 and R21/R3 (phased innovation) award mechanisms.
  • Creation of a virtual, centralized clinical proteomics reagents resource, which will include resources such as antibodies, peptides, and proteins. This component will use an RFP contracts funding mechanism.