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Funding News - Grant Applications to Develop Tools for Genetic Studies in Zebrafish Sought

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The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) encourages grant applications to develop tools for genetic studies in zebrafish. This announcement is made together with 17 other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).*

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. The most powerful and unique feature of the zebrafish is that it is a vertebrate model organism with a proven track record of easily executed, large-scale forward mutagenesis screens. There are few tools for targeted gene knockout, conditional gene expression, enhancer trapping, or rapid insertional mutagenesis. The goals of this program announcement are to develop new genetic tools and identify additional mutants. More efficient tools will make screens easier and the discovery of mutants affecting important processes will stimulate additional research on methods to study those mutants.

Areas of potential research interest include: development and/or application of novel methods of mutagenesis; development of systems for rapid mapping or identification of point mutations; and development of technology for gene inactivation and gene expression manipulation. Also of interest is the development and/or application of novel screens for mutants including: phenotypic screens based on observation of alterations in morphology, physiology, or behavior; genetic screens focusing on identifying mutations that affect the structure and function of specific tissue/organ systems; screens focusing on identifying 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 of abuse; 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. Danilo Tagle, Program Director, Neurogenetics Cluster, NINDS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2133, Bethesda, MD 20892; telephone: 301-496-5745; fax: 301-401-1501; e-mail: tagled@ninds.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://grants2.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-02-142.html.