Jeff Barrick and Ilya Finkelstein, Associate Professors in the Molecular Biosciences Department at the University of Texas at Austin, have been awarded the College of Natural Sciences Spark Grant.
The goal of the CNS Spark Grants program is to support new ideas that have the potential to elevate or transform a research program but that are too early-stage in development to be appropriate for external funding opportunities. The program encourages high-risk/high-reward projects. Applicants may propose to develop new methods or to gather preliminary data for new directions in research. Proposals for exploratory, discovery, or hypothesis-driven research as well as method development are all appropriate for the program.
Dr. Barrick's proposal was, Establishing theories of evolutionary optimization and control and Dr. Finkelstein's proposal was, Metagenomic discovery of new classes of RNA-guided gene editors.