The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health has awarded UTMB an $11 million, five-year contract to apply proteomic analysis methods to the study of asthma, allergies, respiratory virus infections and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease associated with airway inflammation. The new contract continues an earlier initiative that created the Proteomics Center in 2002. Proteomics is the systematic study of the expression of proteins, the tiny molecular machines that do the work of cells — a rapidly developing discipline that has become increasingly important to biomedical research. “Our earlier efforts were focused on developing technologies to look globally at the proteins involved in the airway inflammation relating to asthma and allergies,” said Alexander Kurosky, principal investigator and director of the proteomics center. “Now, working in concert with UTMB’s Institute for Translational Science, we’re going to increase our focus on clinical applications for these technologies.” The new contract will help fund research already underway by Drs. Allan Brasier and William Calhoun on distinctive protein profiles associated with different subtypes of asthma.