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NIOSH Scientists' Paper on Innovative Analytical Method Wins CDC Award for Excellence in Science

NIOSH Update:

Contact: Fred Blosser (202) 401-3749
June 22, 2005

A scientific paper by scientists from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) today received a prestigious CDC award for excellence in science.

The paper, "Proteomic Profiling of Intact Mycobacteria by Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry," was written by NIOSH scientists Justin M. Hettick, Michael L. Kashon, Janet P. Simpson (retired), Paul D. Siegel, and David N. Weissman, along with Gerald H. Mazurek with CDC's National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention.

The paper, which was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Analytical Chemistry, won CDC's 2005 Charles C. Shepard Science Award in the category of "Laboratory and Methods." The Shepard Awards honor exemplary science at CDC by recognizing CDC research published in peer-reviewed journals in the previous year. Nominations are judged on scientific criteria of originality, creativity, difficulty, efficiency, clarity, importance, and significant to the prevention of disease and injury.

The paper was the first NIOSH product to receive a Shepard Award since the awards were established in 1986. “This fact attests to the high quality of the scientific products that compete every year, and the exemplary nature of this year's winning NIOSH entry,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D.

The winning article describes research which demonstrated that MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry can be used to identify species of mycobacteria, such as those that cause tuberculosis. The MALDI-TOF method does so by identifying unique patterns of proteins and peptides extracted from bacterial cells. By identifying new TB proteins, this research may contribute to development of new methods for detecting TB, new tests for diagnosis of TB infection, and to TB vaccine development.

The citation for the paper is "Proteomic Profiling of Intact Mycobacteria by Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry," Anal. Chem. 76: 5769-5776, 2004. For additional information on the Shepard Awards, see Additional information about NIOSH research is available by calling the toll-free NIOSH information number, 1-800-35-NIOSH (1-800-356-4674).