Genetic Repository Center
Jackson Laboratory
Richard Woychik, Ph.D.

The Ellison Medical Foundation has awarded $750,000 to fund the construction of the Genetic Repository Center at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. This Repository will consolidate small mouse colonies, of strains that are in steady demand, into a single breeding facility. The resources will include models for Type 1 diabetes, neurological diseases, and heart, lung, blood and sleep disorders, as well as congenic strains of interest for infectious disease research.

Cryopreservation Techniques
Jackson Laboratory
Richard Woychik, Ph.D.

The Jackson Laboratory received a second award in the amount of $945,000 to fund research and education on cryopreservation techniques. Scientists from around the world will receive training through courses on cryopreservation with the goal of moving the biomedical research community to order cryopreserved embryos or reproductive cells of mice, rather than live mice. This would increase the efficiency and decrease the cost of housing and shipping and would provide the opportunity for researchers to build their own mouse colonies at their own institutions.

Pandemic Preparedness for Influenza in Mainland China: An Unmet Need
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Robert G. Webster, Ph.D.

The Ellison Medical Foundation has pledged up to $1,537,234 to establish a center of excellence for influenza surveillance and research in South Central China. The center will be located at Shantou University Medical College, Guangdong, and will be affiliated with Hong Kong University. This collaborative project will support joint studies on transmission of influenza virus at the animal/human interface that will contribute to global pandemic preparedness, including virus surveillance in patients with respiratory symptoms and characterization of virus in animal reservoirs. Funds will help upgrade the influenza virus research laboratories at Shantou Medical College into state-of-the-art facilities where young scientists will be trained in the latest procedures in virology, molecular epidemiology, and influenza surveillance. In addition, this project will extend collaborative outreach to facilitate initiation of influenza surveillance in poultry markets in South Korea and Malaysia.

Transcriptome of the Hepatic Stages of Plasmodium
New York University School of Medicine
Purnima Bhanot, Ph.D.

The Ellison Medical Foundation awarded $40,000 for studies of the transcriptome of the liver stages of the malaria parasite. This will allow investigators to expand their cDNA library from in vitro transformed exoerythrocytic forms of Plasmodium yoelii, analyze the sequence of random clones, and begin to define transcripts expressed specifically by the liver-stage parasites that may be important for vaccine or drug development.


Development of Molecular Genetic Tools for Parasitic Helminths
University of Pennsylvania
James Lok, Ph.D.

The Ellison Medical Foundation has pledged support of up to $2,832,368 for the 4 year project on the Development of Molecular Genetic Tools for Parasitic Helminths. This will involve developing methods and protocols for gene transfer and for specific disruption of gene function in both Schistosoma mansoni and Strongyloides stercoralis parasites with the goal of answering mechanistic questions related to drug discovery, vaccine development, and novel facets of parasitic biology. The project will involve collaboration among the University of Pennsylvania, Tulane University, and the CUNY Graduate Center.

Development of a Mouse Model for Dengue Virus Infection and Disease
University of California - Berkeley
Eva Harris, Ph.D.

The Ellison Medical Foundation has pledged support of up to $750,000 over a period of three years to support the Development of a Mouse Model for Dengue Virus Infection and Disease to elucidate the molecular mechanism of this disease, to better characterize the immune response, and to serve for pre-clinical vaccine testing and evaluating antiviral therapies.


Program in Molecular Pathogenesis and Global Infectious Disease
Marine Biological Laboratory
William T. Speck, M.D.

The Ellison Medical Foundation has pledged support of almost $5 million over a period of five years to support a five-year Program in Molecular Pathogenesis and Global Infectious Disease based at the Josephine Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology and Evolution at The Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA. The interdisciplinary program will bring together scientists who study microparasites and environmental and evolutionary biologists. The scientists will study the molecular basis of disease mechanisms, evolution of virulence factors, pathogen diversity, and infectious agent dispersal in the environment. This award will support Scholars in Residence and Postdoctoral Fellowship programs.

Emerging Infectious Diseases
CDC Foundation
C. Charles Stokes,

The Ellison Medical Foundation has awarded $150,000 to support the printing, electronic production, and distribution of three issues of the Emerging Infectious Diseases journal published by the National Center for Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


Telemachus Knowledge Discovery in Aging Resource
University of Washington
Sherrilynne Fuller, Ph.D.

Just over $1,000,000 will be awarded over a period of 3 years to support the Telemachus Knowledge Discovery in Aging Resource. This is a project to develop a database and software to search across research disciplines and map research methods, animal models, data from tables and figures, and research results from published literature. This project is tightly integrated with the Science of Aging Knowledge Environment (SAGE KE) that is also being supported by the Ellison Medical Foundation.


Genetic Resources Building
Jackson Laboratory
Kenneth Paigen, Ph. D.

Genetically defined mice have become the models of choice for an array of diseases associated with aging. The Jackson Laboratory has long been a national resource for the development, analysis, and distribution of laboratory mice that serve as models for studying human biology and disease. The Jackson Laboratory's genetic resources incorporate the largest collection of induced mutant mice in the world. Several strains of mice accepted to the Induced Mutant Resource (IMR) are important for research on aging and associated diseases. The $1,000,000 Ellison Medical Foundation award will provide the funds needed to match a $1,000,000 NIH matching grant, thus doubling the impact of the Ellison Medical Foundation funds. These funds will be used to help complete the new building being built to house and analyze these important mouse genetic resources.

Science of Aging Knowledge Environment. (SAGE KE)
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Ellis Rubenstein, Ph. D.

The Ellison Medical Foundation is funding the development of a web-based system for organizing scientific information in science of aging to aid in information sharing amongst researchers in the field. This system collects,vets, selects, organizes, aggregates and gives value to on-line information. Editors, librarians, and scientists have developed this system to delineate the intersections of disciplinary paths and processes thus opening new pathways for researchers to access information related to their research.This will, in turn, help develop a science of aging research community for knowledge and resource exchange amongst molecular and cell biologists, molecular geneticists, physiologists, field biologists, and evolutionary biologists. The SAGE KE is now operational at http://sageke.sciencemag.org.

For further information, contact:
Richard L. Sprott, Ph.D.
Executive Director
The Ellison Medical Foundation
4710 Bethesda Avenue
Suite 204
Bethesda, MD 20814-5226
(301) 657-1830 (Phone)
(301) 657-1828 (Fax)
Contact Dr. Sprott