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JGU Mainz, IMB Win $1.2M for Gene Regulation Studies, Proteomics Expansion

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and its Institute of Molecular Biology will use €900,000 ($1.2 million) in German state funding to collaborate on research into how gene regulation affects evolution and development, and to establish proteomics services at IMB.

The Gene Regulation in Evolution and Development (GeneRED) project will provide three years of funding to six PhD students who will develop insights into how epigenetics can influence development in organisms over the short term, through growth and aging, and the long term, via evolution, JGU said yesterday.

These researchers will be integrated into an international PhD program focused on the dynamics of gene regulation, epigenetics, and DNA damage response, that includes partners at JGU, IMB, the Mainz University Medical Center, and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research.

JGU also said the funding will be used to expand access to "modern proteomics technologies" for researchers at JGU and IMB, although specific details about the proteomics services and technologies involved were not immediately available.

The research projects GeneRED will support include a study of how division of labor evolves in social insects like ants, and which genes are involved in that process; how the nucleosome remodeling factor complex maintains neural stem cell identity in fruit flies; what NG2 protein targets are involved in glial cell development and tumors; how ciliary proteins affect DNA damage response and gene regulation in Usher syndrome; what the roles of genetic regulatory elements are in modern human adaptation to an agriculturalist diet and predisposition to metabolic syndrome; and what epigenetic factors are involved in creating body size memory in fruit flies.

The GeneRED project is funded by Rhineland-Palatinate's Ministry of Education, Science, Further Education, and Cultural Affairs.