New grant to study infertility

01/03/05

NIH grant to research fertilization

MELBOURNE, FLA.--Dr. David Carroll, Florida Tech assistant professor of biological sciences, has earned a grant for $187,000 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to research fertilization and early development in the starfish. The grant is an NIH Academic Research Enhancement Award.

"The immediate goal is to learn fundamental principles about the molecules that direct activation of the egg during fertilization. We have recently isolated the DNA for a gene called phospholipase C-gamma and found that it is required for a successful fertilization," said Carroll.

The grant will be used to discover more genes that act together with phospholipase C-gamma to initiate embryonic development at fertilization. The ultimate goal is to apply this knowledge to the problems of infertility and contraception in humans.

The grant will also fund summer work for undergraduate and graduate researchers, and some equipment necessary to carry out this work.

Dr. Carroll's research, since 1993, has focused on the molecular mechanisms that regulate fertilization. He earned a doctoral degree from the University of Connecticut Health Center in 1996.

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