A $3 million gift from the Price Family Foundation to the University of Oklahoma and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University will create the first ever anaerobic structural biology program in the United States. The OU-Einstein Research Consortium will be dedicated to advancing groundbreaking research with biomedical relevance in an unexplored area and will establish an Institute of Structural Biology in the Stephenson Life Sciences Research Center on OU's Research Campus.
"This gift from the Michael Price family will put OU researchers in a leading role in this important area of research dealing with the impact of protein," said OU President David L. Boren. "It will further our partnership with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in this area. Already OU has received a $9.7 million NIH grant in a related area. We are very grateful to the Price family, and I plan to recommend to the Regents that the center be named the Price Family Foundation Institute of Structural Biology to honor their gift."
Michael Price is an OU alumnus and generous donor to both OU and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
The Price Family Foundation Institute will build on the expertise of an already established structural biology community led by OU Professor Ann West, who will direct the Institute. West was instrumental in the successful award of a $9.7 million National Institutes of Health CoBRE grant to establish a center for structural biology. As a result, the area of structural biology research and the number of structural biologists have grown significantly in the state.
OU and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine bring specialized but complementary areas of expertise to the collaboration. OU specializes in small-to-large molecule X-ray analysis, while the Albert Einstein College of Medicine hosts a world-class NIH-funded large-scale structural genomics center. Collectively, the two research teams will target some of the world's most deadly diseases and search for new and/or improved cures for these diseases.
With the strengths of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine team, an anaerobic structural biology program will help underline OU as a leader in this research area. It will provide new training and expertise in the state and will help OU recruit top talent. A new structural biology graduate program at OU and student internships at the two universities also will attract the best and brightest students.
The OU anaerobic structural biology research team will consist of Professors West and George Richter-Addo, chairman of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; Elizabeth Karr, assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology; postdoctoral students, graduate and undergraduate students.