Baylor College of Medicine awarded $5 million from CPRIT for core facility support in proteomics and
A $5 million CPRIT grant will provide a boost to Dr. Dean Edwards and the Proteomics and Metabolomics Core.

Baylor College of Medicine has received $5 million from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) for a renewal grant focused on core facility support in proteomics and metabolomics.

Dr. Dean Edwards, associate director for research infrastructure and director of proteomics shared research in the NCI-designated Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor, is the principal investigator on the grant.

CPRIT, founded in 2009, announced the awarding of 14 new grants, totaling $50 million, made through its academic research program, including 10 CPRIT Scholar recruitment grants and four Core Facility Support Awards. The goal of the competing Core Facility Support Award is to continue to support cancer researchers with state-of-the-art proteomics and metabolomics technologies for the discovery of protein and metabolic pathways that underlie important cancer research and clinical puzzles.

“This $5 million award to Dean Edwards and the Proteomics and Metabolomics Core at Baylor provides a significant boost to this facility and the services offered to our cancer researchers and physician-scientists,” said Dr. Adam Kuspa, senior vice president and dean of research at Baylor. “Funding support from CPRIT has greatly enhanced programs across Texas.”

The funding is important to the work of the Duncan Cancer Center.

“The renewal of this CPRIT core grant will allow the Duncan Cancer Center to continue to be a leader in proteomics and metabolomics research, which will be a major priority for the Duncan Cancer Center in the next few years as we integrate what we have learned from genomic research with what we are learning, and will learn, from studies of cell proteins, products of metabolism, and cell signaling pathways,” said Dr. Kent Osborne, director of the Duncan Cancer Center. “Since proteins and metabolites are the read-out of the genome, this core and the research capabilities it provides will be critical to identifying new diagnostic and treatment strategies for cancer.

“Major new initiatives with the competing renewal grant are the expansion of the bioinformatics capabilities, including integrative analysis across multi-omics data sets and microscale analysis of samples, to enhance capabilities of metabolomic and proteomic analyses of clinical studies with patient samples,” said Edwards, also executive director of advanced technology cores and a professor of molecular and cellular biology and pathology & immunology at Baylor.

“Proteomics and metabolomics are rapidly evolving ‘omics’ scientific disciplines,” said Edwards. “The CPRIT funds will be used to continually develop innovative new technology platforms in order to provide the most cutting-edge research capabilities to the Baylor cancer research community and will benefit a broad range of cancer researchers.”

Edwards said the major scientific goals of the Core Facility at Baylor are to support investigator experimental cancer model systems in the discovery and identification of metabolic and protein signaling pathways associated with cancer progression, the reprogramming of the pathways that are responsible for recurrence and resistance to therapies, and the identification of new therapeutic targets.