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iXpressGenes Receives DoD Grant to Study Environmental DNA for Antibiotic Research

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Synthetic biology firm iXpressGenes announced today that it has received a $100,000 small business grant from the US Department of Defense to analyze environmental DNA as part of an effort to identify novel antibiotics.

Using next-generation sequencing technology at the HudsonAlpha Genomic Services Lab where it is headquartered, iXpressGenes will study environmental DNA samples from extreme cold, acidic, and alkaline environments in order to find unique metabolic pathways that could yield new classes of antibiotics against biological warfare agents and multidrug-resistant pathogens.

The firm is collaborating with Auburn University's Mark Liles and HudsonAlpha's Shawn Levy on the program. 

"By combining Dr. Liles’ experience in bacterial pathway cloning/expression, Dr. Levy’s high-quality sequencing technology, and iXpressGenes’ extremophile protein and synthetic biology expertise, this project could lead to novel therapeutics, as well as valuable enzymes for the food industry, fuel cells, and biosensors," iXpressGenes research associate AJ Singhal said in a statement.