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Incyte Invites Applications for Custom Sequencing Grant

NEW YORK, June 22 - Incyte Genomics said Friday it would begin accepting applications next week for its Discovery Grant, which awards the winning researcher $100,000 worth of Incyte's custom sequencing services.

Applications are open to all academic and private sector researchers, with the stipulation that their research involve DNA sequencing to some degree. Last year, Gene Robinson, a fruit fly researcher, won the grant for his work applying the fruit fly genome to understanding gene function in honeybees.

In 1999, the first year Incyte made the award, the winner used the grant to study Histoplasma capsulatum , a pathogenic fungus that is often fatal to patients with weak immune systems.

The application consists of a 200-word grant proposal. Incyte will begin making applications available on-line Friday, June 29, at its website, www.incyte.com , through August 14. Attendees of the Drug Discovery Technology 2001 conference in Boston can also apply in person. 

The grant committee consists of 10 renowned genomics researchers, said an Incyte spokeswoman, and five of the judges are Incyte employees. Proposals will be judged on content, creativity, and the proposed use of the custom sequencing and bioinformatics services, the spokeswoman said. No employees of Incyte can apply.

Incyte has no stake in the intellectual property that the researchers may generate from the Incyte-funded research.

"We're basically spreading the word about the grant and about our [custom sequencing] service," said Meghan Lane, a marketing manager at Incyte. "It's publicity for us, and obviously benefits the researcher who gets amazing results."

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