News of the College May 2004

Reed receives National Science Foundation grant for biology

NSF frog clonesThe National Science Foundation awarded a grant of $115,900 to Reed College for the project “RUI: Telomere Function and Dysfunction In Vivo,” under the direction of biology professor Janis Shampay. Reed students will work with Shampay to identify and clone telomere (chromosome ends) binding protein genes from Xenopus laevis and the true diploid Xenopus tropicalis, using EST database mining and molecular techniques to amplify the genes from messenger RNA. Cloned gene products will then be tested for telomere binding capability. Lastly, the function of the genes will be disrupted, using the new technique of short interfering RNA.

This multi-year grant will provide a long-range, coherent framework and the resources for students to learn to build on the work of others, either in summer or thesis projects. The links between telomere function and cellular senescene/ immortalization of cancer cells were byproducts of investigations into DNA replication at chromosome ends. End of Article

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Reed Magazine August 2004
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