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Updated 10:00 AM October 31, 2005




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Collaboration will aid life-sciences research

U-M and Fisher Scientific International Inc. have launched a five-year collaboration to develop new tools for genomic and proteomic research.

The collaboration promotes opportunities for Fisher to combine its expertise with research at the Center for Chemical Genomics (CCG) within the University's Life Sciences Institute (LSI). Fisher will provide financial support for select research projects at the University and will have the opportunity to license new technologies resulting from that research.

"These technologies will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of disease research and drug discovery and ultimately speed the development of new diagnostics and therapies," says Leland Foster, chief executive officer of Fisher Biosciences.

The funds from Fisher will provide seed money for pilot projects for up to two years, allowing U-M scientists to conduct research to qualify for longer-term grants from other sources, such as the National Institutes of Health. The CCG/Fisher program is expected to fund up to six projects totaling $300,000 in the first grant year. Project proposals will be reviewed by a steering committee from the CCG, along with Fisher representatives for final selection for funding.

The program is designed to foster the discovery of novel technologies in the areas of high-throughput screening and detection, protein expression, chemical diversity and bioinformatics.

Fisher is targeting the development of new procedures for protein testing and sample preparation, innovative ways of using RNA-interference products, and broader applications of high-content screening and other advancements.

"We are excited to be working with one of the world's leading research institutions," Foster says.

Fisher Biosciences specializes in tools, applications and systems for life-science research and drug discovery.

Fisher Biosciences also develops novel drug-like molecules and compounds for screening in drug discovery and development.

"This exciting program will foster innovative approaches using chemical inhibitors or activators to dissect the biological function of genes and gene products," says David H. Sherman, CCG director. "The opportunity to forge close ties with Fisher Scientific and its specialty technology units promises to be highly productive and complementary."

All faculty members at U-M whose research has applications in the life sciences are eligible to apply for grants through the program. Fisher will have the right to license new technologies that result from the research projects.

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