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NSF Grants $1.1M to FSU for Maize Epigenetics

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Science Foundation has awarded a $1.1 million grant to a Florida State University researcher to study how gene expression is controlled and how those controls are inherited.

Under the Faculty Early Career Development Award, Assistant Professor Karen McGinnis will use maize to conduct the gene expression research and to make discoveries about ways to improve various corn traits.

The funding also will be used to support programs to get more students involved in McGinnis' experiments, including undergraduate, graduate, and post-doc students.

"In my lab, we study different ways that DNA and RNA interact to regulate gene expression, and how these relationships influence the organization and modification of DNA in the nucleus of cells, which can also, in turn, influence gene expression," McGinnis said. "All of this has the potential to become a preserved characteristic of the genetic information of the cell, and to become part of the information that is inherited, by maize and by other living organisms, from one generation to the next."

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