Dr. Philip James Shaw, BIOTEC researcher from Protein-Ligand Engineering and Molecular Biology Research Unit, is among three scientists winning The Great Gigabase Grant (3Gs). The genomic sequencing grant worth 400,000 Baht will contribute to his research project on “Comprehensive transcript mapping of the 5’ ends of P. falciparum mRNA”.
Drug discovery and vaccine development for malaria require detailed knowledge of the parasite’s biology. The expressions of drug and vaccine gene targets vary throughout the parasite life cycle, and understanding of the cellular mechanisms which regulate these patterns could lead to new targets, and/or more effective use of existing treatments. Very little is known of the parasite’s gene regulation mechanisms, mainly because of insufficient mapping and annotation of the transcriptome. In his project, Dr. Shaw and team propose massively parallel sequencing the 5’ ends of the malaria parasite’s mRNAs at different stages of the life cycle. This information will be vital to map transcription start sites, and thus define genes and their respective promoters. This detailed knowledge will be of great benefit to malaria researchers in diverse fields, including antigenic variation and drug target discovery.
The other two winners of 3Gs are Dr. Pornprot Limprasert from Prince of Songkla University for his project on “Targeted genomic capture arrays and high throughput sequencing for autism susceptibility genes in Thai multiplex families with autism spectrum disorder” and Dr. Chanwit Tribuddharat of Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital for his project on “Metagenomic analysis of resistance plasmids shared by multi-drug resistant nosocomial pathogens isolated from gastro-intestinal tracts of in-patients”.
3Gs is sponsored by Roche Diagnostics (Thailand) Ltd., Biogenomed Co., Ltd. and Genome Institute. The sequencing task of the three wining projects will be performed by Genome Institute using Genome Sequencer FLX System.
Posted on 11 June 2010.