Ming Gao will be busy researching gene mutations after Indiana University Northwest received a $409,000 grant.
The grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute Of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health will support the associate professor of biology in “determining the role of me31B protein in germ cell development.”
Undergraduate students will help Gao “study the in vivo working mechanism of a me31B/DDX6 family protein, an evolutionarily conserved RNA helicase important for the development of germ cells and certain soma in diverse animal species, including humans.”
“In humans, mutations in this protein can cause intellectual disabilities, anomalies in reproduction system organs and many other developmental delays and defects,” Gao said in a press release. “Knowledge gained from this research will provide a better understanding of how these family proteins contribute to human growth and shed light on potential treatments for human disorders related to this gene mutation.”
Students also will have the chance to present the results of their experiments at conferences and publish their work in scientific journals.
“We are grateful for this award, which will further enable the advancement of Dr. Gao’s research, while also enhancing the research environment of IU Northwest by engaging undergraduate students in front-line biological and biomedical research,” said Ken Iwama, IU Northwest chancellor.