PSI Steering Subcommittee on Inter-Center Relationships

November 2006


This subcommittee will be responsible for planning how the Large and Specialized Centers can best benefit from each other, and how the Specialized Centers can work together.


This subcommittee met by phone July 14, 2006, with follow-up by emails.

Subcommittee Recommendations

  • Web site with lists of who is sharing what from other Centers

    The subcommittee considered the suggestion that there be a central location for Centers to let each other know about opportunities for visits and available resources. Such possibilities could include individual Center workshops that encourage participation from other Centers (such as the CESG cell-free workshop and SSRL remote data-collection workshop this past summer, an NESG-Hauptman joint workshop this fall on crystallization, and a JCSG Thermotoga whole-proteome workshop in January 2007).

    Recommendation: There was great enthusiasm for having a Web site or equivalent means for sharing information about opportunities for information and technology exchange: (1) desire for visitors to a Center, what they would do and how long, (2) what visits have occurred, (3) desire for collaborations, (4) general communications (via blog or listserver), (5) communication with the community. Note: This recommendation is being actively pursued by the ATCG3D Center, which is setting up a Sharepoint web site for PSI-2 Inter-Center Communication, The first prototype Sharepoint PSI-2 Inter-Center Communication web site is now up and running and is expected to be fully functional in the near future.

  • Targeting Web site with lists of targets that large Centers would like worked on by small Centers, with detailed reasons and status and info on how to get materials, and status from any previous work by any Center

    The subcommittee discussed the idea of how to choose targets that will optimize the overall productivity of PSI-2. Rather than being specifically assigned targets, the Small Centers would prefer to choose ones that may be amenable to the specific technology under development in their Centers. These could be selected from lists of targets not already assigned by Large Centers or tried and abandoned by them. It would be important to know where and why these targets have previously failed.

    Recommendation: It would be helpful for the Large Centers to provide the Small Centers with two types of information on potential targets: (1) proteins that are in categories that the Large Centers do not work on now, and (2) lists of targets attempted by Large Centers that failed at a designated pipeline stage, with a brief background explanation for why the target has failed to progress. Large Centers would collaborate by providing available clones for targets selected by Small Centers. The Small Centers should choose targets that help maximize the overall sequence to structure space covered.

  • Sharing of proposals

    The subcommittee considered the suggestion that proposals of all the Centers should be shared. There was concern that not all would be willing or even able to share proposals without confidentiality agreements in place. There was general agreement that sharing is a good idea, and that it should be bilateral, not required, with goal of openness, and meet confidentiality requirements of parties involved (which may vary). There was agreement that a similar sharing mechanism would be suitable for annual progress reports.

    Recommendation: Sharing of proposals should be bilateral between centers.

  • Funding for inviting visitors from one Center to visit another and share knowledge

    There was general agreement that inviting members of one Center to visit other Centers to share ideas was a good idea, and that funding for such exchanges would be helpful. In follow-up discussions, it was clear that there were no funds available for this purpose, but the idea is encouraged.

Steering Subcommittee on Inter-Center Relationships

Chair: Tom Terwilliger
Members: Minmin Yu, Ian Wilson, John Markley, George DeTitta, Lance Stewart, Robert Stroud