Genomics and Genetics Researchers Awarded More than $2M in Grants

Three researchers at the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics, who are also faculty members at the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics have been awarded more than $2 million in grants to advance genetic research on Staphylococcus aureus infections, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and age-related macular degeneration.

William K. Scott, Ph.D., professor of human genetics, was awarded a five-year, $1.5 million grant to study why only some individuals who develop Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections have adverse outcomes. The competitive grant is a renewal of a collaborative study led by Vance G. Fowler Jr., M.D., M.H.S., at Duke University.

Stephan Züchner, M.D., associate professor of human genetics and neurology and director of the Center for Human Molecular Genetics at the Hussman Institute, was awarded a three-year, $390,000 grant from the Muscular Dystrophy Association to study Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT), a neurodegenerative disease. The grant will fund sequencing of genes in CMT patients to identify ones associated with the disease.

Gaofeng Wang, Ph.D., assistant professor of human genetics, was awarded two grants to study macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in people 65 and older. The American Health Assistance Foundation awarded Wang $100,000 over two years to fund research on the ARMS2 gene and its influence on macular degeneration, and the Florida Biomedical Research Programs awarded him a three-year, $400,000 James & Esther King New Investigator Research Grant to study the effects of smoking on the development of macular degeneration.

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