The six basic research departments at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine carry out a broad range of basic science studies with strong translational components. Interdepartmental structures like the Comprehensive Cancer Center (which contributes to the maintenance of the proposed SPR equipment) foster interactions between basic researchers and with clinical research groups. Among this combined group of researchers (including one user from the neighboring Florida Scripps Institute), a strong need exists for modalities that allow highly sensitive and label free molecular interaction studies with small sample volumes. Surface Plasmon Resonance has become a major, if not the dominant, method of analysis for this type of applications in the last decade, especially with its increase in sensitivity in recent years (which now includes the label free binding studies of small molecule analytes) and the ability to multiplex and automate measurements. This allows for a broad range of studies to be carried out efficiently and with minimal sample volumes. Our high demand for SPR capability is in stark contrast to the absence of any such equipment with open access within a several hundred mile radius of UM. The absence of SPR capability forces researchers to rely on less sensitive and less informative methods at best. In some cases, such label free binding of novel, small molecule lead compounds, no other options are available. In yet other cases (antibody optimization) outsourcing is currently the only option The proposed purchase of a Biacore T200 would establish much needed SPR capability on the UM campus. The instrument will be housed in a supervised instrumentation facility will be maintained through institutional support. Featured applications include the characterization and optimization of therapeutically used antibodies, the evaluation of existing or de novo synthesized small molecular weight drugs, the detailed comparison of thermodynamic binding properties between ITC and SPR as alternative methods, the assembly of multi protein complexes on DNA, the characterization of SELEX derived nucleic acid aptamers to target proteins, and the detection of analyte concentrations in serum samples, and several projects emphasizing the strength of SPR in the study of weak interactions All applications fall within the capability range of a Biacore T200, and availability of SPR is certain to enhance progress on existing and future NIH-funded research. Public Health Relevance: Access to Surface Plasmon Resonance will accelerate existing and open up new research applications across the medical campus of UM. The impacted projects range from very basic to applied research with immediate translational potential. We therefore expect a highly synergistic impact on studies aimed at improving human health.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD)
Biomedical Research Support Shared Instrumentation Grants (S10)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-IMM-G (30))
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Levy, Abraham
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University of Miami School of Medicine
Schools of Medicine
Coral Gables
United States
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