Navigation Links
New Scripps Florida scientist awarded pair of unconventional grants
Date:11/18/2010

JUPITER, FL, November 17, 2010 For Immediate Release While scientists depend on grants for their research, applying for them is a long and frequently frustrating process. For one Scripps Research Institute scientist, however, the process was shorter.

William Ja, an assistant professor in the Department of Metabolism and Aging who joined the institute's Florida campus in January, was recently awarded an unsolicited grant of $60,000 by the Glenn Foundation, which supports an array of biomedical research with a strong emphasis on aging studies.

Ja said the award was totally unexpected when he was informed of it at a Glenn Foundation meeting for former scholarship winners.

"I had received a small scholarship for summer work in 2004 when I was a graduate student," he said. "As small as it was, it was very important because it gave me the encouragement to make the move from chemistry to biology. You could say it was the seed that started the early stage of my academic career. Still, I was surprised by the invitation [to the foundation's meeting]."

The real surprise came at the end of the meeting when Ja was told he was to receive a $60,000 grant to continue his work in aging. Ja's award, along with several others, was formally announced by the Glenn Foundation on November 2, 2010.

Ja, who was a National Institutes of Health (NIH) postdoctoral fellow in biology at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena before joining Scripps Florida, is focused on researching various longevity-enhancing manipulations and their impact on aging and metabolism in Drosophila, the common fruit fly and one of the most widely used laboratory models. Among these manipulations are dietary restriction, and the effects on their hosts of certain types of bacteria that live in the gastrointestinal tract.

The Glenn Awards were initiated in 2007 to provide unsolicited funds to researchers investigating the biology of aging. The grants are to assist scientists where funding shortages threaten to impede scientific progress. Award recipients are selected from nominees provided by an anonymous scientific advisory committee. Applications are not accepted.

A Second Unconventional Grant

Ja has also recently received a two-year grant of approximately $200,000 for the study of non-surgical sterilization methods for dogs and cats. The award, named the Michelson Prize, came from the newly created Found Animals Foundation, a privately funded, non-profit organization dedicated to minimizing shelter euthanasia. Ja was one of the first to apply for it, even though it was outside his previous field of research.

"I saw an advertisement for it while I was still at Caltech and thought it would be an interesting project," he said. "A few of us threw out a bunch of ideas, most of which had been attempted 20 years ago. But I came up with something different, sent it in, and it got favorably reviewed. With a few modifications, we're already working on it."

The project involves using a cytotoxin a cell killer to attack the cells critical to reproduction in dogs and cats by targeting the follicle stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR), which is found in certain cells of the sexual organs. Blocking or destroying these cells can lead to infertility.

"What makes this study so interesting," Ja said, "is that we're going to use some of the tools we develop to ask some basic scientific questions, so what we're doing is a nice combination of basic and applied science."

The development of the tools, he said, is just as important as finding the right cytotoxin.

"Even if the toxin or the target isn't the right one," he said, "we'll be able to share these tools with other labs and quickly mix-and-match other molecules for testing. The foundation has been very understanding about our approach. They said, 'Go for it.'"


'/>"/>

Contact: Mika Ono
mikaono@scripps.edu
858-784-2052
Scripps Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Scripps Research scientists identify new mechanism regulating daily biological rhythms
2. Scripps Research team watches formation of cells protein factories for first time
3. Landenberger Foundation awards grant to Scripps Florida scientist to study HIV
4. Entire issue of scientific journal devoted to center headed by Scripps Research Scientists
5. Scripps Research study challenges conventional theory of modern drug design
6. Scripps Research scientists develop novel test that identifies river blindness
7. Scripps researchers, UCSD chemists to create center devoted to chemistrys influence on climate
8. Scripps Research scientists win $65 million in new grants to reveal form and function of proteins
9. Scripps scientists develop test providing new pathway for identifying obesity, diabetes drugs
10. Scripps research team wins $5.1 million to develop DNA sequencing technology
11. Team led by Scripps Research scientist identifies new gene for memory
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/23/2017)... , Aug. 23, 2017  The general public,s help is being ... microbiome—the bacteria that live in and on the human body –and are ... The Microbiome ... the human microbiome, starting with the gut. The project's goal is to ... Photo credit: IBM ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... N.Y. and ITHACA, N.Y. ... ) and Cornell University, a leader in dairy research, ... with bioinformatics designed to help reduce the chances that ... With the onset of this dairy project, Cornell University ... Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain, a food ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... , May 16, 2017   Bridge Patient ... organizations, and MD EMR Systems , an ... partner for GE, have established a partnership to ... product and the GE Centricity™ products, including Centricity ... These new integrations will allow ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... Administration (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation to SBT-100, its novel anti-STAT3 (Signal ... the treatment of osteosarcoma. SBT-100 is able to cross the cell membrane and ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... PA (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... City Science Center’s FirstHand program has won a US2020 STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives ... the award for Excellence in Volunteer Experience from US2020. , US2020’s mission is ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... Calif. , Oct. 10, 2017 SomaGenics ... from the NIH to develop RealSeq®-SC (Single Cell), expected ... for profiling small RNAs (including microRNAs) from single cells ... Program highlights the need to accelerate development of approaches ... "New techniques for measuring levels ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... 9, 2017  BioTech Holdings announced today identification ... its ProCell stem cell therapy prevents limb loss ... Company, demonstrated that treatment with ProCell resulted in ... as compared to standard bone marrow stem cell ... in reduction of therapeutic effect.  ...
Breaking Biology Technology: