Message from the RCSB PDB

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has renewed for five years funding for the PDB under the management of the RCSB. NSF has supported the PDB continuously since 1975, and a multi-agency support partnership first formed in 1989. For the past five years, that partnership has included NSF, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the National Library of Medicine (NLM). The partnership has been expanded now to include the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

The new support agreement, which began Jan. 1, calls for the continued management of the PDB by three members of the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics (RCSB): Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego; and the University of Maryland/National Institute of Standards and Technology's Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology. This new era for PDB opens following the recent announcement of the wwPDB (, an international agreement to coordinate the deposition and distribution of molecular structure data.

The PDB has continued to grow and evolve since its inception in 1971. Last year, more than 4,600 new molecular structures were added. On an average day, visitors download various structural files more than 120,000 times. During the next five years, the RCSB PDB will meet challenges that include the expanded integration of its information with other biological resources, keeping up with the increasing complexity and volume of deposited structures, meeting the demands for more complex queries, and providing more detailed annotation of the experiments and the structures. The PDB will also continue to serve an ever expanding, diverse and global user community.

Wolfgang Bluhm, left, demonstrates the reengineered PDB site to Eric Sayers (NCBI) at the RCSB PDB's exhibition booth at the 48th Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society, held February 14-18 in Baltimore, MD.