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Funding News - Research on the Development of Zebrafish Mutagenesis and Screening Tools Sought

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The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) encourages, along with 16 other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH),* grant applications for research on the development of zebrafish mutagenesis and screening tools.

Mutational analyses in the non-vertebrate genetic models of the worm and the fruit fly have contributed significantly to the understanding of early developmental pathways. While the invertebrate systems have revealed much useful information, many features of patterning and morphogenesis of the vertebrate embryo are distinct, and, thus, cannot be studied using invertebrates. As a vertebrate, the zebrafish is more closely related to humans than are yeast, worms, or flies, and has a number of advantageous features as a model organism for study of vertebrate development, disease, and biological pathways.

Examples of potential research include: development and/or application of novel phenotypic screens for mutants, and methods of mutagenesis; genetic screens focusing on identifying mutations that affect the structure and function of specific tissue/organ systems, and novel developmental genes and pathways, including those mediating sensitivity or resistance to environmental teratogens; screens to analyze the genetic basis of adult phenotypes including behavior, aging, organ disease, cancer, and responses to environmental toxins, alcohol, and drugs; screens to detect altered gene expression patterns, as a tool to identify components of genetic pathways or those altered by environmental agents; and sensitized screens, using strains carrying a known mutation, in order to identify extragenic suppressors or enhancers of that mutation.

For more information, potential applicants should contact Dr. Robert Finkelstein, Program Director, Neurogenetics Cluster, NINDS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2136, Bethesda, MD 20892; telephone: (301) 402-1501; fax: (301) 496-5748; e-mail: rf45c@nih.gov.

*For a full list of supporting NIH 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-01-070.html.