Friday, March 26, 2010

Help me Win a MiniGrant!

Francisella tularensis is a ninja: silently attacking our cells, undetected by our immune system is sponsoring a mini-grant competition. The winner(s) receive $500 towards the pursuit of their particular project.

Proposals have 100 words or less to convince readers (including non-microbiologists) to vote for the project. You can vote for mine through Facebook at this link.

I've included my proposal here to catch your interest:

Bacterial Super-Ninjas: Staying in the Shadows:
Like a ninja on a mission, Francisella tularensis is a silent, deadly bacterial pathogen. Despite being weaponized and a recognized bioterrorism agent, little is known about how Francisella escapes immune detection. We have isolated a Francisella protein that blocks the immune system’s ability to sound alarms during infection. Preliminary evidence suggests that it is used as a projectile weapon, directly attacking immune communication lines. This grant will allow us to examine how this protein is fired from Francisella into our immune cells, rendering them mute. Importantly, this represents a novel target for vaccine development against this bacterial assassin.

Here is the voting link again: Bacterial Super-Ninjas: Staying in the Shadows

If you have any more questions, such as specifics to what I will do with the funds if I win or a more technical outline of my project, feel free to e-mail me!

You can vote once per day, so feel free to continue voting until the contest ends in May!

Thank you so much!

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