Policy ForumMolecular Biology

NIH Molecular Libraries Initiative

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Science  12 Nov 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5699, pp. 1138-1139
DOI: 10.1126/science.1105511

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The Molecular Libraries Initiative (MLI) of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research is a bold set of programs to facilitate the use of small molecules in the public sector and expand the reach of small-molecule technologies to define gene, cell, and organism function in health and disease. The initiative described in this Policy Forum has three components: the Molecular Libraries Screening Centers Network; cheminformatics initiatives including a new public compound database (PubChem); and technology development initiatives in chemical diversity, cheminformatics, assay development, screening instrumentation, and predictive ADMET. All research tools and results will be made publicly available without encumbrance. The small-molecule tools and technologies produced by the MLI will accelerate gene function determination, target validation, and downstream drug development.