NSF EPSCoR Awards New Track-2 Projects to Help Understand Connections Between Genes and Organisms' Characteristics
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has made eight awards totaling $41.7 million for projects aimed at building capacity to research a national priority area: understanding the relationship in organisms between genetic material, or genotype, and physical characteristics due to gene expression and environmental influences, or phenotype.
The genotype-to-phenotype relationship has significant societal and economic implications across scientific fields and areas of industry, including but not limited to medicine, agriculture, biotechnology and ecology. An enhanced understanding of this relationship holds the potential for improved food crop yields, better prediction of human disease risk and new drug therapies. Through these investments, NSF aims to provide the scientific community with new tools and resources for future discoveries.
The awards are made through NSF EPSCoR as part of its Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Track-2 investment strategy. RII Track-2 is intended to build national research strength by initiating research collaborations across institutions in two or more EPSCoR jurisdictions. The four-year awards involve 21 institutions in 16 eligible jurisdictions.
"Over the past several decades, scientists and engineers have made massive strides in decoding, amassing and storing genomic data," said Denise Barnes, Head of NSF's Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Program. "But understanding how genomics influence phenotype remains one of the more profound challenges in science. These awards lay the groundwork for closing some of the biggest gaps in biological knowledge and developing interdisciplinary teams needed to address the challenges."
The project titles, principal investigators and lead institutions are listed below.
Comparative genomics and phenomics approach to discover genes underlying heat stress resilience in cereals: Harkamal Walia, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
: Hippokratis Kiaris, University of South Carolina at Columbia
Advanced biomanufacturing: Catalyzing improved host development and high-quality medicines through genome to phenome predictions: Sarah Harcum, Clemson University
Using biophysical protein models to map genetic variation to phenotypes: Frederick Ytreberg, University of Idaho
Building Genome-to-Phenome Infrastructure for Regulating Methane in Deep and Extreme Environments (BuG ReMeDEE): Rajesh Sani, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Genomic logic underlying adaptive morphological divergence: Riccardo Papa, University of Puerto Rico -- Rio Piedras
G2P in VOM: An experimental and analytical framework for genome to phenome connections in viruses of microbes: Eric Wommack, University of Delaware