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, 2024 deadline.

2024 Submission Guidelines

Past Recipients

2024 Recipients

Margherita Perillo headshot
Margherita Perillo
Research Scientist, Marine Biological Laboratory
Establishing Holothuria tubulosa as an emerging model for developmental biology
How do some animals develop their body plans twice - once as larvae, and again as they metamorphose? This key question is yet to be fully understood because we lack enough tractable experimental systems with available genetic tools. Here, we propose to use sea cucumbers, compelling animals that have different shapes as larvae and adults. Yet, because there are no reliable protocols to work with embryos, sea cucumbers have not been consistently employed by the community. To address this challenge, together with Dr. Rossella Annunziata (SZN, Italy), we have developed protocols for the study of embryos and larvae in the species H. tubulosa, making this an emerging research organism suitable for a wide range of experiments. Our goal is to develop transcriptomes that will be critical to compare gene expression during larval and metamorphosis stages. This project will establish the first highly tractable sea cucumber species to study embryogenesis and organogenesis.