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Colorado State University biochemists study how chromosomes unravel to let genes do their jobs
Date:5/4/2010

FORT COLLINS - A team of top biochemists at Colorado State University will investigate how chromosomes untangle to expose genes that dictate cell behavior a unique project that could have a significant impact on understanding human health.

The National Institutes of Health today announced it has awarded Professor Jennifer Nyborg, University Distinguished Professor Karolin Luger and Professor Laurie Stargell a $7.8 million, five-year grant to study how the basic unit that tightly packages DNA into chromosomes, known as a nucleosome, unfolds and disassembles to expose genes that give cells their biological traits.

"Fostering collaboration between scientists can ultimately lead to very important breakthroughs and greater understanding of how DNA works," said Tony Frank, president of Colorado State University. "Pooling our strengths in these areas creates great potential. This grant from NIH is an endorsement that Colorado State University is home to some of the top scientists addressing basic science with the potential to solve global health concerns."

"Because the nucleosome plays a pivotal role in gene expression, finding ways to manipulate its assembly and disassembly are of great biological and potentially therapeutic interest," said Peter Preusch, who oversees biophysics grants at NIH's National Institute of General Medical Sciences, which supports this new grant. "With their strong scientific connectionsboth between each other and their subprojectsDr. Nyborg and her colleagues are uniquely positioned to detail the mechanisms of these processes."

Nyborg serves as the principal investigator on the NIH grant, known as a Program of Projects, which is expected to provide funding for as many as 15 post-doctoral positions, graduate students and technicians. Undergraduate students will also gain from hands-on instruction from some of the university's top researchers and teachers.

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Contact: Emily Wilmsen
Emily.Wilmsen@colostate.edu
970-491-2336
Colorado State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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