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Funding News - Research to Develop Courses on Stem Cell Culture Techniques Sought

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The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) invites applications for research grants to develop, conduct, evaluate, and disseminate short-term courses on laboratory research techniques for human embryonic stem cell lines. This announcement is made together with 10 other components of the federal government.*

Recent scientific discoveries about the ability of human embryonic stem cells to proliferate in an undifferentiated state and to be directed to develop into a wide array of cell types present opportunities for research that aims to repair or replace cells and restore vital functions. Advancing these discoveries will require dissemination of technical knowledge and skills in cell culture techniques across a variety disciplines and disease research areas. Currently, there is a shortage of investigators who have experience with this research tool. The objective of this announcement is to support the development of short-term courses on skills and techniques applied in human embryonic stem cell research.

Topic areas of emphasis include: proper freeze-thaw cycling, repetition of the preparation of cell passages, and the cryopreservation, vitrification, storage, and shipment of cells; use of co-culture techniques to support maintenance of the undifferentiated cell state; use of cell separation procedures including fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS); review of basic good laboratory practices for use of human biological materials including proper exposure precautions, safe methods of disposal, and record keeping; establishment of xenograft procedures for the use of animal models for in situ culturing and differentiation of stem cells and the pathological examination of tumor growth; employment of standard detection methods for infectious organisms or other contaminants; introduction to microarray techniques for DNA and transcriptional profiling; application of single cell recording methods for measurement of electrical potential; and cross-training of techniques used in other applications of stem cell biology tools.

For more information, potential applicants should contact Dr. Arlene Chiu, Program Director, Repair and Plasticity Cluster, NINDS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2206, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-9525; telephone: 301-496-1447; fax: 301-480-1080; email: chiua@ninds.nih.gov.

*For a full list of supporting components and a more detailed description of this program announcement, please visit the NIH web site at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-02-054.html.