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The University of Delaware is initiating a major effort and committing significant resources into molecular and structural biology on campus. An external search for a new molecular biologist as Chair of Biological Sciences is presently underway and funds have been committed to hire a number of new faculty in molecular/structural biology over the next few years. The focus of the present IdeA grant complements well with our major thrust Directly related to this application, we are proposing to recruit three molecular biology faculty doing research on a) cell signaling, b) developmental, cell cycle, or cancer biology using transgenic or knock-out mouse technology, and c) gene delivery and targeting. In addition, we are proposing to hire an X-ray crystallographer who is interested in protein- nucleic acid interactions. To recruit the best possible candidates for these positions, we are planning to develop a molecular cell biology facility and an X-ray crystallography laboratory. Once in place, the facilities will be of enormous benefit to the new hires and to existing faculty working on health-related problems. The cell biology facility will consist of three major parts: a) a cell culture laboratory involved in the growth and maintenance of various cell types including embryonal stem cells that will be used for the generation of transgenic and/or knock-out mice, b) an expression and vector facility to be used for introducing genes into cells, sequencing DNA, and facilitating the production of cloned gene products, and c) a monoclonal antibody and immunochemistry facility that will generate immunological reagents and study cells by confocal microscopy to determine the distribution of antigen or to obtain structural and functional information The X-ray crystallography center will be a modem facility directed by a new faculty member to determine the three dimensional structure of important biomolecules. We envision that the new hires and the added facilities will result in a number of new NIH- funded projects at Delaware by the end of the funding period for this grant.
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