CombiMatrix and Texas A&M University Receive Grant from the National Academies; Joint Project Will Focus on Enhancing DNA Hybridization on Microarrays
The co-Principal Investigators will be Dr. Robin Liu of CombiMatrix Corporation and Prof. Victor Ugaz of Texas A&M University. This award will enable the two collaborators to begin initial studies to obtain data that will serve as the cornerstone for additional funding.
“The National Academies Keck Futures Initiative grant is highly competitive, and we are honored that the NAKFI committee selected us for the award.”
DNA microarrays are one of the most useful analytical tools in modern molecular biology, and they are expected to revolutionize medical practice through their applications in molecular diagnostics. Though microarrays are very powerful tools, they often require several hours to perform analysis, due to the time required for hybridization. For many applications, this time requirement is not a major issue, however in some applications a speedier assay would be very valuable. For example, CombiMatrix's Influenza assay requires four hours to complete, with the bulk of the time due to hybridization. If this Influenza Array were used, during a potential pandemic to quarantine or clear people at ports of entry such as airports, a more rapid assay would be very valuable. The activities funded under this proposal will attempt to develop a simple and low-cost, but highly effective technique to reduce hybridization time and improve signal uniformity across the microarray.
"A rapid, field compatible and low-cost hybridization enhancement technique would result in a revolutionary step forward in DNA microarray capabilities. This proposal will address this need by combining our expertise in microarrays and fluid dynamics to develop a versatile technique for DNA microarray enhancement. This work will be the first time these approaches have been applied toward biomolecule hybridization and offer the exciting possibility of providing the foundation for an entirely new family of rapid and sensitive microarray-based assays," said Dr. Robin Liu, Manager of Microfluidic Technology at CombiMatrix. "The National Academies Keck Futures Initiative grant is highly competitive, and we are honored that the NAKFI committee selected us for the award."
Dr. Robert Waterston, Chair of the NAKFI Genomics Steering Committee, stated: "The Committee noted that many fine grant proposals were received, making the final decision difficult. The goal of the Futures Grant program is to enable further pursuit of important new ideas and connections stimulated by the Genomics conference by bringing people together in a variety of new ways and sparking new research. The Steering Committee felt the CombiMatrix/Texas A&M proposal would help to achieve this goal."
Both Dr. Robin Liu and Prof. Victor Ugaz were invited attendees at the National Academies Keck Futures Conference in November 2005, which brought together more than 100 of the nation's best and brightest researchers from academic, industrial, and government laboratories to ask questions about and to discover interdisciplinary connections between important areas of cutting-edge research.
ABOUT NATIONAL ACADEMICS KECK FUTURES INITIATIVE
The National Academies is comprised of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academies Keck Futures Initiative is a 15-year effort to catalyze interdisciplinary inquiry and to enhance communication among researchers, funding organizations, universities, and the general public. The Initiative's objective is to enhance the climate for conducting interdisciplinary research, and to break down related institutional and systemic barriers. The Initiative builds on three pillars of vital and sustained research: interdisciplinary encounters that counterbalance specialization and isolation; the asking of new questions; and communication bridging languages, cultures, habits of thought, and institutions. Toward these goals, the multifaceted Futures Initiative incorporates three core activities each year: Futures Conferences, Futures Grants and National Academies Communication Awards. The National Academies also conducted a study on Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research. The National Academies Keck Futures Initiative (www.keckfutures.org) is funded through a generous grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation (www.wmkeck.org).
ABOUT ACACIA RESEARCH CORPORATION
Acacia Research Corporation comprises two operating groups, Acacia Technologies group and CombiMatrix group.
The CombiMatrix group is developing a platform technology to rapidly produce customizable arrays, which are semiconductor-based tools for use in identifying and determining the roles of genes, gene mutations and proteins. The CombiMatrix's group's technology has a wide range of potential applications in the areas of genomics, proteomics, biosensors, drug discovery, drug development, diagnostics, combinatorial chemistry, material sciences and nanotechnology.
The Acacia Technologies group develops, acquires, and licenses patented technologies. Acacia controls 42 patent portfolios, which include over 160 U.S. patents, and certain foreign counterparts, covering technologies used in a wide variety of industries including audio/video enhancement & synchronization, broadcast data retrieval, computer memory cache coherency, credit card fraud protection, database management, data encryption & product activation, digital media transmission (DMT(R)), digital video production, dynamic manufacturing modeling, enhanced Internet navigation, hearing aid ECS, image resolution enhancement, interactive data sharing, interactive television, laptop docking station connectivity, microprocessor enhancement, multi-dimensional bar codes, network data storage, resource scheduling, rotational video imaging, spreadsheet automation, user activated Internet advertising and web conferencing & collaboration software.
Acacia Research-Acacia Technologies (Nasdaq:ACTG) and Acacia Research-CombiMatrix (Nasdaq:CBMX) are both classes of common stock issued by Acacia Research Corporation and are intended to reflect the performance of the respective operating groups and are not issued by the operating groups.
Information about the Acacia Technologies group and the CombiMatrix group is available at www.acaciaresearch.com.
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