December 13-14, 2011
The PSI:Biology program seeks to leverage the high-throughput technology developed during the 10 years of the Protein Structure Initiative (PSI) to solve a set of important and complex biological problems. This is being accomplished through extensive partnerships with experts in biological systems where sweeping structural analysis can have a major impact in answering highly significant and challenging questions in biology. One important goal of the PSI:Biology program is to make resources for high-throughput structure determination available to a larger community of scientists. Another is to build a community of expertise in which the whole will be greater than the sum of the parts.
The second annual meeting, in December 2011, has reinforced the impression that PSI:Biology is well on its way toward accomplishing its stated mission. The five main components (High-throughput Structure Determination (HTP) Centers, Centers for Membrane Protein Structure Determination, Consortia for High-throughput-enabled Structural Biology Partnerships, PSI Structural Biology Knowledgebase (SBKB), and
Materials Repository) interface well and work towards the common goal of advancing biology through high-throughput structural biology.
The meeting provided an informative mix of 10- and 30-minute 'science talks' on the biological impact of the ongoing research. The oral presentations were selected by members of the Advisory Committee from the volunteered abstracts, and many of the speakers presented impressive accounts of the 'enabling power' of PSI biology. Several speakers mentioned that the partnerships affected, in a positive way, their approach to science, and this is exactly one of the stated goals of PSI:Biology. These talks were interspersed with combined progress reports from the HTP Centers, Membrane Centers and biology partners, and from committees addressing materials, outreach, goals and metrics, and target definition, respectively.
Below we briefly summarize key issues that were raised during the annual meeting and provide feedback that the Advisory Committee offers to help insure success of the program as it approaches mid-term review.
Karolin Luger, Ph.D., ChairHHMI and Colorado State University
Karen Allen, Ph.D.Boston University
Steve Bryant, Ph.D.National Center for Biotechnology Information/National Library of Medicine/NIH
Wah Chiu, Ph.D.Baylor College of Medicine
Lila Gierasch, Ph.D.University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Wim Hol, Ph.D.University of Washington
Anne-Frances Miller, Ph.D.University of Kentucky
William Montfort, Ph.D.University of Arizona
Stephen H. White, Ph.D.University of California at Irvine
Cathy H. Wu, Ph.D.University of Delaware & Georgetown University Medical Center
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