Structural Biology and Metabonomics

Miami University

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The Center of Excellence Structural Biology and Metabonomics is a world-class site for medical researchers at hospitals in the State of Ohio who have a need and interest in disease-related research. Developing tools for cancer detection and diagnosis of early childhood diseases requires a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to make critical advances for these difficult medical research problems. The Center offers a powerful array of solutions for medical research, including structural biology, metabonomics, and longitudinal imaging studies of small animal models for human diseases.

Driven by a collaboration of medical doctors carrying out research at the various hospitals across the state, the Center builds on ten years of NIH funding in structural biology and participation in the Protein Structure Initiative in an effort to establish a unique State of Ohio resource for protein structure-function studies. The Center houses one of the top metabonomics facilities in the world and builds on an established network of collaborations at three major children's hospitals in the State of Ohio and the nation – Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Cleveland, and Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus. In addition, the Center has planned a significant expansion of existing small animal model studies of human diseases to augment its structural biology and metabonomics studies.

Driving Economic Advancement

The metabonomics technologies developed at the Center have the potential to be the seed for establishing commercial ventures that spin-off of Miami University's Center of Excellence activities. The Center has already initiated discussions with local, state, and federal public representatives, as well as with hospitals and businesses, on the importance and potential positive impact of metabonomics research on Ohioans and the economic status of the State of Ohio. Collectively, the Center has real potential to mobilize local public offi cials, businesses and hospitals as its activities grow over the next decade.

Benchmarks

  • Scholarly peer-reviewed publications in leading scientific journals
  • Received joint external funding through federal and private sources with its regional collaborators, and has established a large collaborative funding model that will support and sustain the Center over the next 5-10 years

Goals

  • Establish several externally funded collaborative research grants with other academic institutions and medical researchers at regional hospitals in the areas of structural biology and metabonomics
  • Establish Miami University as a regional and national institution of prominence in the areas of structural biology and metabonomics
  • Recruit significant numbers of undergraduate and graduate students into the fields of structural biology and metabonomics at Miami University
  • Develop diagnostic tools for the detection of cancer and early childhood diseases

Metrics

  • Number of research grants obtained and publications produced in collaboration with other academic institutions and medical researchers
  • Rankings in regards to Miami University's position regionally and nationally within the areas of structural biology and metabonomics
  • Number of undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the programs of structural biology and metabonomics
  • Commercialization of diagnostic tools for cancer detection and early childhood diseases