Elizabeth Gavis and Cameron Myhrvold receive DFR Innovation Funding

Grants, Fellowships and Awards
Posted on July 21, 2021

Ching-Yao Lai, Cameron Myhrvold and Elizabeth Gavis (Photos by Frank Wojciechowski; Nathan Myhrvold; and Denise Applewhite, Office of Communications)

Nine exploratory projects, from an effort to exploit inter-microbial warfare in the search for new antibiotics to the development of artificial intelligence for the transcription of ancient documents, have been selected to receive support through the Dean for Research Innovation Funds.

Tracking RNA in living cells

Researchers will develop new, versatile tools to track the movement of RNA, the cell’s messenger delivery system, and to remove selected RNAs from cells. A chemical cousin of DNA, RNA moves about the cell carrying instructions to the precise locations where proteins need to be made. A team led by Cameron Myhrvold, assistant professor of molecular biology and a Class of 2011 alumnus, and Elizabeth Gavis, the Damon B. Pfeiffer Professor in the Life Sciences and professor of molecular biology, will explore where and why RNAs travel. They’ll develop tools based on the CRISPR-Cas13 system, a cousin of the CRISPR DNA-editing technique, that targets RNA to illuminate the locations of many different RNAs in the cell and probe their functions at these locations. The team hopes to uncover roles for transported RNAs in the behavior of cells in a developing embryo.

All the funded projects can be found on the Princeton home page