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La Jolla Institute to develop San Diego's first center for RNAi genomics research
Date:10/8/2010

in one or more five thematic areas. In succeeding in this highly competitive grant process, which included thousands of applications encompassing all biomedical research disciplines, the La Jolla Institute proposal addressed several of these thematic areas, by applying "high throughput technologies" in genomics for "reinvigorating the biomedical research community."

An internationally recognized immunologist, Dr. Kronenberg is co-lead investigator on the Center grant along with La Jolla Institute scientist Anjana Rao, Ph.D., a world leader in cell biology and genomics research and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

The Center will be launched with four major immunology-focused research projects funded by the NIH as part of the RNAi grant.

Dr. Kronenberg said these initial projects will investigate some of the most fundamental and critical questions of how genes affect immune system function. "We recognize the power and groundbreaking capabilities of this technology and will use it to advance scientific knowledge toward new and more effective vaccines as well as potential new therapies for autoimmune diseases ranging from type 1 diabetes to rheumatoid arthritis."

Three of the projects will be led by Dr. Kronenberg and Dr. Rao, along with scientists Sonia Sharma, Ph.D., and Matthew Pipkin, Ph.D., who work with Dr. Rao. Dr. Rao was recruited from Harvard Medical School last year to lead the La Jolla Institute's new Division of Signaling and Gene Expression, which will house the Center.

A fourth project will be led by David Nemazee, Ph.D., and Changchun Xiao, Ph.D., from the Scripps Research Institute. These investigators will analyze how microRNAs regulate B lymphocytes, white blood cells involved in producing antibodies, to either become tolerant of our bodies or make critical missteps leading to diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. "Dr. Nemazee and Dr. Xiao are outstanding scientists
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Contact: Bonnie Ward
contact@liai.org
619-303-3160
La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology
Source:Eurekalert

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