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GEN News Highlights : Aug 13, 2009

Thermo Fisher Scientific Sets Up RNAi Discovery Grant Program

Five research projects will receive approximately $400,000 in screening tools.

Thermo Fisher Scientific established a grant program to award life science researchers over $400,000 in RNAi reagents. Five projects will be selected based on their potential to advance medical research and drug discovery.

The Thermo Scientific Discovery Grant Program will include various siRNA, shRNA, and miRNA reagents from the Dharmacon and Open Biosystems RNAi technology portfolios, marketed under the Thermo Scientific brand. It is open to both academic and commercial researchers.

Grant applications will be reviewed by a panel of scientists at Thermo Fisher Scientific, and recipients will be selected based on the merit of their projects, their screening capabilities, and potential scientific impact. Applications for the grants will be accepted through September 7.

Grant award options include whole-genome RNAi screening, RNAi gene family, and miRNA libraries. The whole genome award includes membership in the RNAi Global Initiative, established by the Thermo Scientific Dharmacon products team in 2005 to advance RNAi screening and foster collaboration among researchers. The group now includes more than 38 research institutions, according to Thermo Fisher Scientific.

“We have created this grant program to advance RNAi-based screening and to help our life sciences customers accelerate their discoveries,” says Marc N. Casper, COO of Thermo Fisher Scientific. Recent research involving Thermo Scientific RNAi technologies include a study to find human genes associated with West Nile virus infection, the discovery of potential new targets for HIV drugs, and identification of genes that appear to affect the susceptibility of human cancer cells to certain chemotherapy treatments, according to the firm.