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NSF Awards Grants Supporting Genomic Tool Development

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The National Science Foundation recently awarded nearly $10 million in grant funding to researchers at eight institutions as part of its Enabling Discovery through Genomic Tools (EDGE) program, which aims to support the development of functional genomic tools and techniques for genome manipulation in model organisms.

Among the EDGE grant recipients are Oregon Health and Science University's Claudio Mello, who has been awarded $800,000 to develop methods for gene manipulation in birds, with a focus on the zebra finch; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University's James Westwood, who received $560,000 to generate a transgenic version of cuscuta in order to be able to use the parasitic plant as a model system; and Pennsylvania State University's Jason Rasgon, who was awarded $1.5 million to disseminate a recently developed technology for arthropod genetic manipulation called receptor-mediated ovary transduction of cargo, or ReMOT Control.

Also receiving EDGE funding are Sallie Chisholm of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who was awarded $890,000 to continue the development of tools for genetic manipulation in the phytoplankton prochlorococcus; Daniel Bolnick at the University of Texas at Austin, who was granted $1.6 million to develop gene-editing methods for use in the model organism stickleback; and Georg Jander of the Boyce Thompson Institute, who was awarded $1 million to create protocols for genetic manipulation in milkweed plants.

Michigan State University's Jason Gallant was also awarded $1.5 million to develop a genetic manipulation toolbox for the electric fish model system; while Oregon State University's Virginia Weis has been awarded $1.9 million to develop functional genomics tools for studying the the symbiosis between corals and algae.