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200 thousand dollars awarded to genomics researchers to spark new research technology development
Date:11/10/2011

Four researchers have received $50,000 each to put towards developing technologies such as instrumentation, software and reagents that have the potential to impact genomics research.

"We received over 40 applications for our SPARK grants, all demonstrating creative and imaginative research ideas," commented Dr. Mark Poznansky, President and CEO, OGI. "We launched this program to support Ontario's researchers and their work that might not be readily funded by other programs, or viewed as too risky or lacking preliminary results. All recipients demonstrated innovative ideas that have clear potential to impact the way genomics research is carried out, as well as produce significant results."

The four recipients of a SPARK grant are:

Dr. Michael Brudno and Mr. Marc Fiume, University of Toronto, who will be developing a software platform known as MedSavant, which allows for DNA to be analyzed quickly identifying mutations that may cause disease development.

MedSavant is being developed as a specialized, user-friendly search engine for patient information, medical observations and genome sequencing data, which will make the discovery of disease origin and analysis more accessible to geneticists and medical professionals who are best placed to interpret the results and translate findings back to patients.

By the end of the six month duration of the project, they want to have a software prototype that The Centre for Applied Genomics at The Hospital for Sick Children can use to identify disease-causing mutations.

Dr. Yu Sun and Dr. Zhe Lu, University of Toronto, are looking to develop, for the first time, a prototype for automated pronuclear injection, which is the most common method used to inject genetic material into mouse embryos, allowing for gene function and regulation studies to model human diseases.

The creation of an automated pronuclear injection using computer vision mic
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Contact: Alastair Harris-Cartwright
aharriscartwright@ontariogenomics.ca
416-673-6582
Ontario Genomics Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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