Monday, September 17, 2012
It's not often that scientists get grants to take chances, but three San Diego researchers have won awards that will allow them to do just that.
SAN DIEGO Three San Diego scientists have won prestigious federal grants that encourage them to take risks and pursue big ideas. One of the researchers is really going for broke.
Biologist Duc Dong's big idea is to grow replacement organs inside of an animal. At the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, he'll try to genetically reprogram cells in zebrafish. Dong hopes that will cause new tissue to develop.
Dong says he got his inspiration from a unique source.
"Even when I was in fourth grade, I've always been inspired by Dr. Frankenstein," Dong said. "So my interest in being able to grow new organs has always been with me throughout my education."
Dong's award from the National Institutes of Health gives him five years and $1.5 million to pursue his quest.