Faculty biologist receives NIH grant to fund innovative research

Bio DepartmentJamie Lyman Gingerich, assistant professor of biology at UW-Eau Claire, has received a $307,477 Academic Research Enhancement Award from the National Institutes of Health, to be used over a three-year period. The grant program is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The overall goal of Lyman Gingerich’s research is to provide insight into the links between cilia signaling and human health, including heart development, fat storage and obesity, and polycystic kidney disease.

“Improper cilia signaling can contribute to diverse symptoms in humans, including obesity and congenital heart defects,” Lyman Gingerich said. “Therefore, understanding the mechanisms involved in cilia function can better equip us to search for ways to improve human health.”

The funding for Lyman Gingerich’s project, titled “Investigation of Protein Receptor Localization and Retrograde Transport in Cell-type Specific Cilia in the Nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans,” will enable undergraduate students who work in her lab to develop expertise in conducting experiments using innovative approaches and current equipment. Undergraduate researchers will have the opportunity to experience the challenges of research firsthand and to present their findings at professional meetings.