Research Grant
Assistant Professor of Biology Patrick Ferree
Assistant Professor of Biology Patrick Ferree is the recipient of an $830,000 five-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Career Development Program to research genome conflict.

The grant, "Paternal genome elimination by a selfish B chromosome in the jewel wasp Nasonia vitripennis," supports Ferree's ongoing research into genome "parasites" buried in the DNA of insects in the hymenoptera order, including ants, bees, and wasps. The common conception – that the full genome works together in harmony – is upended by individual "selfish" chromosomes altering and overwriting patterns of inheritance at the molecular level.

The Career Development Program is regarded as "the most sought-after recognition a new faculty member can receive" from the NSF given its intended ability to advance someone as an expert in their particular field. The funding supports the hiring of a post-doctoral fellow for the life of the grant and the purchase of some much-needed infrastructure, including a climate-controlled incubator and multiple PCR machines for replicating DNA sequences for study. Most important, however, are the lengths the grant goes to strengthen the educational outreach component of Ferree's research.



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