Navigation Links
UNC scientist receives NIH director's New Innovator Award
Date:10/4/2010

Chapel Hill - Ben Major, PhD, assistant professor of cell and developmental biology, has been awarded one of 33 National Institutes of Health Director's New Innovator Awards, one of the NIH's most prestigious grants.

The $1.5 million grant will fund his work to address a significant medical science challenge: identifying the full complement of genes that functionally contribute to specific cellular and disease processes such as cancer.

Major, a member of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, notes that in model systems such as flies, yeast and mice, scientists can specifically inactivate a gene within the genome to ascertain its function on the cellular or whole animal level. Until now, similar gene-knockout approaches have not been possible for the human genome.

He will build on previous scientific work to quickly and inexpensively determine the function of human genes in the context of specific cellular behaviors. Using technologies that he has helped to develop, his work will focus on identifying the genes that control cellular growth, division and migration within tissue key factors in cancer's formation and spread.

"If you were to randomly remove one piece of your car," Major explains, "your car may not start, your radio may not work or perhaps your door would not lock. Because you know what piece you removed and how that piece functions, you have a pretty good idea of how that will affect your car. Because we do not know how each of the 30,000 or so human genes function, we do not know the full complement of genes that are important for cancer initiation, cancer growth or cancer metastasis. What we are proposing should allow us to ascribe a function to each gene in the human genome, thereby identifying sets of genes that control cancer and other human diseases. We believe that these data will provide a foundation for developing new cancer treatments and diagnostics."

If successful, the low-cost, ease and speed of the new approach could accelerate scientific discovery in countless labs.

Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, director of the National Institutes of Health, said, "NIH is pleased to be supporting early-stage investigators from across the country who are taking considered risks in a wide range of areas in order to accelerate research. We look forward to the results of their work."

The five-year grants are given to stimulate highly innovative research that has the potential for significant impact on a broad area of biomedical research. Major was honored at a September 30 meeting in Washington, DC, for his achievement.

Major joined the UNC faculty in 2009, after finishing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Associate. Major earned his PhD in oncologic sciences from the University of Utah/Huntsman Cancer Institute and a BS in microbiology from Michigan State University's Lyman Briggs School of Science.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dianne Shaw
dgs@med.unc.edu
919-966-5905
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Surprise: Scientists discover that inflammation helps to heal wounds
2. NOAA-sponsored scientists first to map offshore San Andreas Fault and associated ecosystems
3. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory neuroscientist awarded Transformative NIH research grant
4. Scripps Research scientists win $65 million in new grants to reveal form and function of proteins
5. Chromosomal break gives scientists a break in finding new puberty gene
6. Scientists discover a new way our bodies control blood pressure: the P450-EET system
7. Scientists reveal important clues to how bacteria and viruses are identified as enemies
8. Going green: New program provides vital support for plant scientists
9. Notre Dame and Wyoming scientists genetically engineer silkworms to produce artificial spider silk
10. Hepatitis C virus faces new weapon from Florida State scientists
11. Light workout: Stanford scientists use optogenetics to effectively stimulate muscle movement in mice
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
UNC scientist receives NIH director's New Innovator Award
(Date:5/20/2016)... , May 20, 2016  VoiceIt is ... partnership with VoicePass. By working together, ... experience.  Because VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly different ... engines increases both security and usability. ... excitement about this new partnership. "This ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... 2016 WearablesResearch.com , a brand of ... results from the Q1 wave of its quarterly wearables ... consumers, receptivity to a program where they would receive ... insurance company. "We were surprised to see ... Michael LaColla , CEO of Troubadour Research, "primarily because ...
(Date:5/3/2016)...  Neurotechnology, a provider of high-precision biometric identification ... Identification System (ABIS) , a complete system for ... can process multiple complex biometric transactions with high ... face or iris biometrics. It leverages the core ... MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have been used in ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company ... to the medical community, has closed its Series A ... Nunez . "We have received a commitment ... capital we need to meet our current goals," stated ... us the runway to complete validation on the current ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 ... ... (EDC) software, is exhibiting at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and will showcase its ... Annual conference. ClinCapture will also be presenting a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 22, 2016  Amgen (NASDAQ: ... of the QB3@953 life sciences incubator to ... health. The shared laboratory space at QB3@953 was created ... a key obstacle for many early stage organizations - ... of the sponsorship, Amgen launched two "Amgen Golden Ticket" ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... 22, 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... report to their offering. ... from $29.3 billion in 2013. The market is expected to grow ... 2015 to 2020, increasing from $50.6 billion in 2015 to $96.6 ... during the forecast period (2015 to 2020) are discussed. As well, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: