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Gramene Announces Scholarships for Groups Underrepresented in Science to Learn How to Use Bioinformatics and Genomics Resources

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Oregon State University and Cornell University, creators of the Gramene Resource for Comparative Plant Genomics, partner with OpenHelix to offer online training on genomic resources to encourage diversity in science.

(PRWEB) April 22, 2010 -- The creators of the Gramene Resource for Comparative Grass Genomics and OpenHelix announce the availability of scholarships to colleges and universities serving underrepresented minorities for full access to over 85 online tutorial suites on bioinformatics and genomics resources. The program is partially funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

“An ongoing goal for Gramene, our institutions, and the NSF, has been to provide opportunities for advancement and training to underrepresented groups in science,” said Dr. Doreen Ware, of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Principal Investigator of Gramene, “So we are excited to be able to offer individual and institution scholarships to an extensive and valuable catalog of online training on genomics resources.”

Recipients will have access to the OpenHelix catalog of tutorial suites on a wide range of bioinformatics and genomics resources, including Gramene, PlantGDB, NCBI tools such as Entrez Gene, BLAST and PubMed and many more. A full catalog of tutorial suites is available at

Each tutorial suite includes a 45-60 minute, online, self-run, narrated introductory tutorial on how to use a specific resource. The tutorial suite also includes PowerPoint slides, slide handouts and exercises which can be used as reference material or to build classroom content.

“The study of genomics has affected just about every area of life sciences, so learning how to access and interpret genomic data is critical to research success,” said Scott Lathe, Chief Executive Officer of OpenHelix, “With the convenience and broad accessibility of online training, we hope these scholarships will help in leveling access to this important training and further the potential and ongoing careers of the recipients.”

Institutions can apply for a scholarship for access to the tutorials at The scholarships are available to to minority serving colleges and universities. Underrepresented in science means those racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented in biology research relative to their numbers in the general population. Individual scholarships are available to U.S undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral students, faculty and staff. Application deadline is April 30, 2010 and a limited number of scholarships are available.

About Gramene
Extensive research over the past two decades has shown significant conservation of gene order within large segments of linkage groups in agriculturally important grasses such as rice, maize, sorghum, barley, oats, wheat, and rye. Grass genomes are substantially colinear at both large and short scales, opening the possibility of using syntenic relationships to rapidly isolate and characterize homologues in maize, wheat, barley and sorghum.

As an information resource, Gramene's purpose is to provide added value to data sets available within the public sector to facilitate researchers' ability to understand plant genomes and take advantage of genomic sequence known in one species for identifying and understanding corresponding genes, pathways and phenotypes in other plant species.

Current work is being supported by the NSF Plant Genome Research Resource grant award #0703908.

About OpenHelix
OpenHelix, LLC, ( provides the genomics knowledge you need when you need it. OpenHelix provides a bioinformatics and genomics search and training portal, giving researchers one place to find and learn how to use resources and databases on the web. More efficient use of the most relevant resources means quicker and more effective research.


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