Request for Information (RFI): Soliciting Comments for the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) on Planned Sunsetting of the Protein Structure Initiative

Notice Number: NOT-GM-14-115

Key Dates
Release Date: April 10, 2014
Response Date: May 23, 2014

Related Announcements
None

Issued by
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

Purpose

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) seeks community input in planning for the sunset of the Protein Structure Initiative, or PSI:Biology, program. NIGMS seeks information about structural biology resources that have a high impact on the community, whether those resources have been supported under PSI or by other means. Also as part of this process, NIGMS seeks input on structural biology-related technology development, which has been an important feature of PSI. The content of responses rather than the number of responses received is of interest. This is a time-sensitive Request for Information (RFI).

Background

NIGMS supports a variety of resources for structural biology research, through multiple programs, including PSI:Biology. For more information on PSI, see http://sbkb.org/and http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Research/SpecificAreas/PSI/Pages/default.aspx. The PSI has developed many novel technologies and a substantial infrastructure to address challenging structural biology problems. These include, but are not limited to, elements of the PSI Knowledgebase, the Materials Repository, ongoing technology development, and pipelines for expression construct design, gene synthesis, protein expression, and purification. An important component of PSI and PSI:Biology has been in the area of membrane protein structural biology.

In September 2013 NIGMS Director Jon Lorsch announced plans to sunset the Protein Structure Initiative following the completion of PSI:Biology in 2015. He commissioned two committees to determine what unique resources and capabilities developed during the PSI should be preserved and how that should be done. The committees expect to present their recommendations within the year. For more information, see http://loop.nigms.nih.gov/2014/02/protein-structure-initiative-transition-planning-committees/.

An external committee, which includes practitioners of structural biology and biomedical researchers who use structural biology data and resources in their work, is primarily focusing on identifying and assessing community needs for resources and technology development after PSI. It also will suggest emerging challenges and opportunities in structural biology. A second, internal committee, which is composed of NIH staff, will focus on how to implement the priorities identified by the external committee. These committees will help define how we can provide continued access to important structural biology resources and identify new directions for technology development with potential for broad biomedical impact.

Information Requested

As NIGMS and the research community move beyond PSI, it is important for the entire community to have the opportunity to offer comments on what research resources scientists need to have available to them, and how the infrastructure developed in PSI can be used to address those needs after the program ends in 2015.

NIGMS invites comments on the topics below, however comments are not limited to these topics:

1. The structural biology research resources developed by PSI that you find to be crucial in your work, and the nature of the impact of these resources.
2. Other structural biology research resources that you find to be crucial in your work, and the nature of the impact of these resources.
3. The emerging needs or existing gaps in structural biology resources that NIGMS might address that would ensure resources are adequate going forward.
4. Technology development opportunities that need to be planned for and addressed.

How to Submit a Response

Responses to the RFI will be accepted until May 23, 2014.  Respondents will not receive individualized feedback.  No basis for claims against the United States government shall arise as a result of a response to this request for information or from the Unites States government’s use of such information.

All comments must be submitted via email as text or as an attached electronic document.  Microsoft Word documents are preferred.  Please submit your response to:

Douglas M. Sheeley, Sc.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Email: nigmspsirfi@mail.nih.gov

Response to this RFI is voluntary. All interested parties are invited to respond. Any personal identifiers (e.g. names, addresses, email addresses,) will be removed when responses are compiled. Only the de-identified comments will be used. Proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should not be included in your response. The United States government reserves the right to use any non-proprietary technical information in any resultant solicitation(s).

This RFI is for information and planning purposes only and should not be construed as a solicitation or as an obligation on the part of the United States government to provide support for any ideas identified in response to it.  Please note that the United States government will not pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for its use of that information.  Responses will be compiled and shared internally with staff from the NIGMS and with scientific working groups convened by these bodies as appropriate.  In all cases where responses are shared, the names of the respondents will be withheld.

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to:

Douglas M. Sheeley, Sc.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Telephone: 301-451-6446
Email: dms@nih.gov

 

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