Industry News: DNASTAR Awarded Structural Biology Software SBIR Grant

10 Jun 2014


DNASTAR® announced that it received a Phase I SBIR grant award from the National Institutes of Health entitled, “Accurate Accessible Cloud Software for Protein Folding for Molecular Biologists”. This is the first phase of a “fast-track” grant award to perform work in the next two and one-half years to dramatically enhance DNASTAR’s NovaFold® protein structure prediction software.

Dr. Steve Darnell, the Principal Investigator for the project, said, "In this project, we will incorporate protein motion with protein structure prediction, which will be a novel combination of powerful capabilities. Soon, biologists from all disciplines will be able to advance their biological research using predicted structures that are more accurate than those created using traditional homology modeling. We recently licensed the world-leading I-TASSER structure prediction algorithm from the University of Michigan and incorporated that program into an easy-to-use, cloud-based workflow accessible through Protean 3D, DNASTAR's molecular visualization software product. The work we will now undertake is the natural next step in structure prediction, which will support customers in pharma, biotech, and academia by improving both accuracy and speed."

Tom Schwei, Vice President and General Manager of DNASTAR, commented, “We are very pleased to receive this grant award. This funding will help us continue to diversify our product line from genetics and genomics, which have been the core of our business for the past 30 years, into more protein-focused domains, which are critical to enhancing biologists’ understanding of a wide range of organisms and internal biological mechanisms. We look forward to completing this project and offering a dramatically enhanced product to the market in the very near future.”