Center Will Give San Diego’s Biomedical Community Ready Access to Nobel-Prize Winning Technology
SAN DIEGO – (October 8, 2010) – The La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology will develop San Diego’s first Center for RNAi screening — a breakthrough genomics technology that will further enhance San Diego’s reputation as a national research leader and provide the local biomedical community ready access to the Nobel-Prize winning technology.
The National Institutes of Health awarded the La Jolla Institute $12.6 million to develop the Center.
“RNAi (RNA interference) allows scientists to explore new ways of disrupting disease processes based on altering gene function,” said Mitchell Kronenberg, Ph.D., La Jolla Institute president and chief scientific officer. “It is a powerful technology with the potential to transform human health and we are pleased that the NIH has entrusted us with bringing the first publically funded RNAi facility to San Diego.”
The La Jolla Institute, a world leader in immunology research, will develop the facility with the intent of hosting research projects throughout the San Diego biomedical research community. “The Center will become a shared resource that we believe will strengthen our efforts, and that of the overall San Diego research community, to make innovative discoveries by providing a dedicated facility for exploring the genetic triggers of disease,” said Dr. Kronenberg.
Dr. Kronenberg said one of the NIH’s long-term goals in funding such a Center is to boost genetic research because of its strong potential for improving human health. Center set up will begin immediately.
RNAi has been heralded as a revolutionary technology because it opens the door to developing new therapies for cancer and other diseases based on silencing specific genes. Its discoverers were awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.
It is generally regarded as one of the most promising drug discovery technologies available today. Scientists from all medical fields can advance their research using RNAi. (read more… )