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La Jolla Institute Shares Unique Genomic Lab

NIH $12.6 million grant to La Jolla Institute to build Genomic Lab & Library

The La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology received more than $12 million to build a first-of-its-kind genomic library and lab. San Diego’s biotech community will have access to the new center.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant was given to the La Jolla Institute as part of a federal stimulus package to help create local jobs and resources in the biotech industry.

Mitchell Kronenberg, PhD., president and chief science officer of the institute says the center will do just that, by sharing its genome library and lab equipment with other biotech researchers in San Diego.

The new center is one of only a few in the country to use Nobel Prize winning technology to look inside the genetic code of a cell nucleus. It’s called RNA interface or RNAi.

Kronenberg says it’s important because the cells genetic code dictates how cells behave.

“RNA interference screening allows you to test genes one at a time or in groups to see if they affect certain disease processes. In other words, to find out what the genes do.”

It’s hoped, RNAi research will translate into targeted drug development.

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