SDB Emerging Research Organisms Grant

The Society for Developmental Biology Emerging Research Organisms Grant was established in 2016 to fund projects aimed at developing techniques, approaches, community resources, collaborations, and new lines of research to study developmental mechanisms in non-traditional systems. The types of projects supported by SDB Emerging Research Organisms Grant are those that would not be funded by a granting agency due to their preliminary nature. The goal is to provide resources to promote investigations into new systems that will provide unique information that informs and extends our ideas about how developmental processes occur and are regulated. Graduate student, postdoctoral fellow and faculty SDB members are all eligible. Deadlines are December 1 and May 31. (Please note, if two grants are awarded from the December 1 deadline, then we will not be taking applications for May 31. Therefore, we strongly advise you to submit your application by the December 1 deadline). In years in which the deadline falls on a weekend, applications will be accepted until 11:59 PM (ET) of the following Monday.

*Applications will not be accepted for the May 31, 2022 deadline.

2022 Submission Guidelines

Past Recipients

2022 Recipients

Allison Edgar headshot
Allison Edgar
Postdoctoral Fellow, The Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience
Advisor: Mark Q. Martindale
Transforming ctenophores into a tractable system for functional genomics
Ctenophores are a classical model for embryology and regeneration and are ideally phylogenetically placed to reveal basic biological insights as the sister group to all other animals. However, functional molecular experiments have been impeded by limitations of animal husbandry. Our new culturing techniques shorten the generation time of the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi to <2 weeks. Furthermore, our pilot data suggest that electroporation may permit manipulation of gene expression in ctenophores at several life stages. We will combine these two advances to construct the first stable transgenic line of ctenophores: M. leidyi that ubiquitously express the photoconvertible fluorescent protein Kaede. This transgenic line will be useful immediately for long-term lineage tracing and dissecting the origins of cells participating in the adult regeneration process. Once developed, the method will allow us to establish other transgenic lines to enable novel insights into ctenophore biology.