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UF receives $1 million from Keck Foundation to study mechanisms of inherited disease
Date:4/13/2012

teins are translated within these regions adds another layer to the basic biological process," said Swanson, who will help lead the new study. "The discovery leads to a whole new way of looking at disease."

Keck funding will help researchers determine how this repeat-associated non-ATG translation, or RAN translation, works, if it is a key to neurological disease and whether other repetitive sequences in the genome are translated into proteins.

"This prestigious award is significant news for the university," said UF medical Dean Michael L. Good, M.D. "It is very exciting that an influential organization such as the W.M. Keck Foundation recognizes the strength of the research program at the College of Medicine, particularly the cutting-edge expertise of Dr. Ranum and Dr. Swanson and their colleagues."

The Keck Foundation's history is to invest in scientific pursuits that have great promise, but that are outside-the-box and viewed by some as risky, Ranum said.

"We are grateful for this opportunity and excited about what we will learn," she said.

Based in Los Angeles, the foundation was established in 1954 by the late W.M. Keck, founder of the Superior Oil Company. The foundation's grant making is focused primarily on pioneering efforts in the areas of medical research, science and engineering. The Keck Foundation is known for funding high-risk, high-return projects. Keck awards fall outside the mission of public funding agencies and support transformative ideas that are investments in the future.

The Center for NeuroGenetics is located within UF's College of Medicine and affiliated with the department of molecular genetics and microbiology, the McKnight Brain Institute and the Genetics Institute. In addition to Ranum and Swanson, the research team includes Tao Zu, Ph.D., John Cleary, Ph.D., and Tammy Reid, M.Sc.


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Contact: Karen Dooley
dooleyk@ufl.edu
352-273-5865
University of Florida
Source:Eurekalert

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