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Driving Biomedical Projects

Driving Biomedical Projects

DBPs are formal collaborations between the Center and select biomedical researchers who “road test” our developing GCE technologies in the context of authentic, challenging problems in biomedical research. These collaborations provide the researchers with the earliest possible access to emerging tools that can accelerate their research and promote breakthroughs.

Selection criteria

The GCE4All Center selection criteria for DBPs provides preference to:

  1. Projects with at least two years of future support by a National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) grant, meaning the projects have financial support and have been judged as impactful by peer review
  2. Projects for which the needed technologies fit within the scope of Center’s Technology Development Projects (TDPs), and for which there is evidence that the technologies needed are feasible and will have broad impact
  3. Projects that contribute to a portfolio that is well distributed across the nation, so as to ensure that we are being responsive to needs of the national research community rather than only a group of local researchers.

The Center is not able to provide funds for these projects, so DBPs must have stable funding. We anticipate the total number of DBPs active at a given time will be in the range of six to twelve. Active DBPs will end when their GCE technology needs are met (or it’s decided they cannot be met), and new qualifying DBPs can be added when Center resources become available to focus on developing additional specific technologies needed by the community.

Applying to establish a new DBP

Important for the Center’s success is for us to become aware of new and/or improved GCE technologies that are needed to advance specific research efforts and that are anticipated to have broad utility for advancing biomedical research. Thus, we invite those with a need for GCE technology that reasonably meets most of the three criteria listed above to submit a proposal to be a DBP by sending a single page PDF to, that is organized as follows:

  1. PI name, email address, affiliation and project title
  2. Project funding with amounts and period of support
  3. Brief single paragraph summary of the biomedical research project
  4. Brief bullet-form listing of needed new or improved GCE technologies for project success
  5. Brief single paragraph description of breakthroughs the technologies will enable for the project in question, why other established technologies are insufficient for the work, and arguments for the potential broader utility for the biomedical research community of the requested GCE technologies
  6. Key citations

Proposals for DBPs will be considered on a rolling basis by the GCE4all Center leadership in consultation with the External Advisory Committee. If approved, the requested technologies will be added into the workflow of the relevant TDP(s), and the collaborative testing relationship with the DBP will be initiated.

Current Driving Biomedical Projects

The current (and inaugural) set of seven DBPs involve major academic and medical institutions across the country, and all involve projects with NIGMS funding.

These DBP investigators and their projects are:

Oregon Health and Science University

Eric Gouaux
Direct On-grid Capture of Protein Complexes for CryoEM

University of Iowa

Chris Ahern
Functional Consequences of Disease Mutation in Membrane Proteins

University of Washington

Sharona Gordon, William Zagotta, & Stefan Stoll
Conformational Dynamics and Regulation of Ion Channels

University of North Carolina

Marcey Waters
Engineering of Novel Histone eWriter Proteins and Studying Pi-Pi Interactions

St. Louis University School of Medicine

Edwin Antony
Deciphering the Assembly of Multi-Protein Complexes in DNA Metabolism

University of Pennsylvania

E. James Petersson
Probing Protein Misfolding in Neurodegeneration

University of Pittsburgh

Angela Gronenborn
Development of Efficient Eukaryotic, In Cell 19F NMR

University of California (Irvine)

Jenn Prescher
Genetically Encodable Cyclopropenones for Bioorthogonal Crosslinking

Harvard Medical School

Hari Arthanari
Functional Role of Structured Domains and Disordered Sections in Kinase Wee-1