McGill researchers awarded Azrieli Science Grant for RNA and the brain

Dr. Wayne Sossin, Professor at The Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montreal, has been awarded a grant through the Azrieli Science Grants Program as principal investigator for a research project titled “Determining how stalled polysomes are generated for transport in RNA granules and regulated local translation”. He will collaborate on this project with Dr. Joaquin Ortega and Dr. Guilluame Bourque, also of McGill University and Dr. Christos G. Gkogkas of IMBB-FORTH in Greece. The total budget awarded is $450,000 over 3 years.

Local translation in the axons and dendrites of neurons is critical for wiring up a functioning nervous system. Neuronal RNA granules are densely packed clusters of mRNA and ribosomes that transport mRNAs for local translation in synapses. Mutations in proteins necessary for the function of neuronal RNA granules lead to miswiring and neurodevelopmental disorders. Learning how these granules are generated, structured and function is necessary to developing strategies to ameliorate neurodevelopmental disorders caused by the dysregulation of these granules.

This project will find out exactly how the process of protein translation (the process of creating proteins from mRNA) in the nervous system is different in neurodevelopmental disorders.

The Azrieli Foundation carries forward the philanthropic legacy of David J. Azrieli. The foundation’s mission is to empower people by supporting a broad range of organizations, facilitating innovative outcomes, and increasing knowledge and understanding in the search for practical and novel solutions.

Dr. Senthilkumar Kailasam from C3G will act as the primary staff member working on this project. C3G is happy to contribute genetic computational support to this undertaking.

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