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Looking Forward to the Future
CHORI Receives New National Institutes of Health Training Grant

CHORI is pleased to announce that it has received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) training (T32) grant, allowing CHORI to fund 4 postdoctoral fellows in the area of cardiovascular research. Designed to train the next generation of scientists in the most innovative and cutting-edge technologies available today, the fellows who receive funding support through this T32 grant will utilize state-of-the-art tools to investigate the genetic and biochemical basis of heart disease.

"Helping younger scientists to develop into independent investigators is really part of the mission of any research institute, and this training grant is a way to support that."


"We're moving rapidly in the direction of using the genetics of cardiovascular disease in the clinical setting; the tools and technologies are incredible now in terms of genetic components and how they may affect treatments, diet, and drugs," explains Ronald Krauss, MD, a senior scientist at CHORI and the principal investigator for the multi-disciplinary grant involving researchers from CHORI, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and University of California, Berkeley (UCB).
"Treating cardiovascular disease as we move forward requires a really deep understanding of what genetics can do, and how to use the information to advance cardiovascular science."
The new training grant will prepare young researchers just beginning their careers to leverage the most innovative techniques and tools currently available. Participating fellows will have the opportunity to work with 8 different mentors who tackle the questions of cardiovascular disease from a variety of different angles.

As Dr. Krauss explains, "It is a multi-pronged, interdisciplinary program that will provide the opportunity for individuals to collaborate in multiple areas to help them become successful scientists who are fluent in current and emerging technologies."

Dr. Krauss's research focuses on the genetics of cholesterol and heart disease, while David Martin, MD, and Dario Boffelli, PhD, are interested in the epigenomics of heart disease.
Robert Ryan, PhD and Michael Oda, PhD, are involved in projects that probe the molecular biophysics of heart disease, and LBNL's Len Pennacchio, PhD and Eddy Rubin, PhD are experts in genomics. UCB's Lior Pachter, PhD, rounds out the group by bringing a computational element into the mix - providing the opportunity to discover the most effective ways of analyzing the wealth of data that current genetic technologies produce.

"There was a time before word processors, or before the internet, and each of these advances has transformed the way we as a society function," Dr. Krauss says. "In the case of scientific research, the ability to look at more than one gene at once was revolutionary in the beginning, and now it's a part of ordinary life. That's going to continue to be the case. The field is expanding exponentially and shows no signs of slowing down. It's not just the generation of data, but how you apply that data to important scientific and medical questions that matters."

With the new T32 grant in hand, Dr. Krauss and his colleagues hope to prepare the next generation of scientists in that application by providing the unique opportunity to explore the vast array of available technologies as it applies to heart disease in both the basic laboratory and the clinical setting.

"Here, we've made the point of embedding the genetics work in the context of relevant biological questions related to heart disease. We can offer a state of the world genomic experience right in the same program with projects that are aimed at understanding how people should be treated."

Postdoctoral fellows interested in applying for one of the 4 available positions should contact Dr. Krauss.
"That is perhaps the most unique part of the program. There is a lot genomics work that is going on in fairly basic lab environments that are more removed from biological and clinical applications, but that isn't the case at CHORI."

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011 8:19 AM

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