TR&D3 - Resource for Quantitative Elemental Mapping for the Life Sciences

Project: Research project

Project Details


The overarching goal of this proposal is to create a national resource for bio-element imaging and analysis that will transform our understanding of the central regulatory roles of metals in living systems. Over twenty-five essential elements are found in varying concentrations in living cells including transition metals such as copper, iron and zinc, where the total concentration of each metal is highly conserved across evolution. Living organisms use these inorganic elements to control fundamental processes such as metabolism, homeostatic regulation and cell cycle control. Variations in the intracellular amounts of each element can be thought of as inorganic signatures, which can serve as physiological biomarkers of normal and pathological states. There are two grand challenges: the first is to understand how metals act within single cells to affect cell function. The second is a matter of scale; how can we efficiently analyze millions of samples to search for correlative markers of health and disease in the human population? Neither of these challenges can be addressed with current technology. The proposed Resource integrates three Technology Research & Development (TR&D) projects that were identified as having the potential to address these challenges through their respective impacts on quantifying dynamic changes in the chemical elements of life associated with normal physiology and pathology.
Effective start/end date7/1/205/31/21


  • National Institute of General Medical Sciences (1P41GM135018-01)


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