| National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a grant for the research project entitled "Optimal siRNA Design Based on Whole Genome Thermodynamic Analysis" to start in September 2009. This continuing grant, with a total of $1,595,295 for up to four years, will be used to develop novel small interference RNA (siRNA) design software.
RNA interference (RNAi) is a natural phenomenon in cells where siRNAs guide the recognition, inhibition and potential degradation of target messenger RNAs (mRNAs), resulting in the loss of their gene functions. RNAi is an important molecular biology technology that can be used to perform functional genomic studies. It is also suggested that siRNAs can be used as drugs to stop oncogenes in cancer cells or to fight off viruses. The two main goals of this project are to create novel siRNA design software that can select high quality, gene-specific siRNAs based on the comprehensive thermodynamic analysis of an entire genome and to validate the quality of the designed siRNAs with RNAi experiments. The software developed under this project will be made available from the download area in the Complex Computation Lab website.
The official NSF award abstract for this project can be found at the NSF award database.