TEMPE, Ariz. The Microscale Life Sciences Center (MLSC) led by Deirdre Meldrum, new dean of Arizona State University's Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering, has been awarded a five-year $18 million grant one of the highest individual grant amounts in the university's history to continue its role as one of the national Centers for Excellence in Genomic Science (CEGS).
The grant is from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The Microscale Life Sciences Center's focus is on use of microscale technology innovation to solve mysteries about cell growth and death, answers that will reveal crucial knowledge about cancer, heart disease and strokes the leading fatal diseases in the United States.
It is developing miniature automated systems designed to rapidly detect and analyze the differences between healthy and diseased body cells to better understand the nature of disease processes.
"Our vision is to examine the genesis of diseases directly at the individual cell level, at increasing levels of complexity that progressively move toward an understanding of disease in living organisms," Meldrum says.
"Cancer, heart disease and stroke all involve an imbalance in this process of cellular proliferation and cell death. Real-time analysis of individual cells is essential for tracing the link between genomics, cell function and disease," she explains.
The MLSC was established in 2001 as one of the first members of the CEGS and funded with an initial five-year $15 million grant.
Meldrum is bringing the research program from the University of Washington to ASU when she steps into the dean's post in January. She will oversee the program as director of the new Center for EcoGenomics at ASU's Biodesign Institute.
The program will continue its collaboration with researchers at the University of Washington, Brandeis University in Massac
Contact: Joe Kullman
Arizona State University