School of MCB Researchers Receive Mayo Clinic/University of Illinois Alliance Funding

Three School of Molecular and Cellular Biology professors have been awarded research funding for collaborative projects between University of Illinois and Mayo Clinic researchers by the Mayo Clinic/University of Illinois Strategic Alliance for Technology-Based Healthcare.

Three School of Molecular and Cellular Biology professors have been awarded research funding by the Mayo Clinic/University of Illinois Strategic Alliance for Technology-Based Healthcare.

In January, the Mayo-Illinois Alliance for Technology Based Healthcare sponsored a Pharmacogenomics Workshop at the Institute for Genomic Biology to spread the word about the awards, which fund collaborative projects between the institutions related to pharmacogenomics. The researchers submitted their proposals and were chosen from a highly competitive pool of applicants.

Director of the School of MCB and Department of Biochemistry Professor Stephen G. Sligar, Department of Biochemistry and Cell and Developmental Biology Professor Mary A. Schuler, and Mayo Clinic researcher Rajiv Kumar, M.D., were chosen for their project, "Genetic Patient Polymorphisms and Molecular Mechanisms of Vitamin D Metabolism." They plan to "seek the linkage between patient polymorphisms and their origins related to the structure and function of metabolic gene products," focusing on defects in cytochrome P450 mono-oxygenases involved in the synthesis and catabolism of vitamin D metabolites.

Department of Biochemistry Professor David Kranz and Mayo Clinic researcher Scott Kaufmann, M.D., were chosen for their project, "A Strategy for Rapid Analysis of Bcl2 Mutants Associated with Follicular Lymphoma." They plan to study mutations of the BCL2 gene and their effects on Bcl-2 protein-ligand binding. Mutations in this gene are correlated to the reduced survival of follicular lymphoma patients. 14,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with this type of cancer per year.

May 28, 2013 All News