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ASU research efforts to improve human health will get $3 million in federal stimulus grants
Date:11/16/2009

Arizona State University has been awarded nearly $3 million in federal stimulus funds from the National Institutes of Health. ASU professors Stuart Lindsay and Paul Westerhoff will lead a pair of two-year, innovative projects designed to tackle challenges in the fields of rapid DNA sequencing and the potential health risks of nanotechnology.

As part of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 ("Recovery Act" or "ARRA"), the NIH has established a new program entitled Research and Research Infrastructure "Grand Opportunities," or the "GO" grants program. Its purpose is to support innovative ideas that lend themselves to short-term funding, and may lay the foundation for new fields of investigation and a high likelihood of enabling growth and investment in biomedical research and development, public health and health care delivery.

The race for everyday DNA sequencing

In one project, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) will support work at ASU's Biodesign Institute through a significant grant to boost research on rapid DNA sequencing technology.

ASU professor Stuart Lindsay's two-year, $1.7 million research project will utilize carbon nanotubes to allow for vast stretches of DNA sequence information to be read in a single pass. Current technologies can only read about 1,000 chemical letters of the 3-billion-long human DNA chain at a time.

Lindsay, director of the Biodesign Institute's Center for Single Molecule Biophysics, was one of just seven researchers in the nation to receive funding to support his team's efforts to bring low-cost DNA sequencing technology to the massesa technology that promises to transform everyday medical care and research.

"While the costs of sequencing the complete DNA information of an individual have plummeted in recent years, from $1 billion to $100,000 or less, the field is still very actively searching for a next-generation breakthrough technology," said
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Contact: joe Caspermeyer
joseph.caspermeyer@asu.edu
480-727-0369
Arizona State University
Source:Eurekalert

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