2015 Seed Grant Application Open

SEED GRANT: Application Due April 10, 2015

The Genome Science Institute is pleased to announce the availability of one year seed grants ranging up to $20,000; each to enhance genetics and genomics research at Boston University/Boston Medical Center. These grants are intended to provide the resources needed to generate preliminary data prior to the submission of extramural grants (e.g., R01s or P01s).

PURPOSE AND SCOPE: This RFA is intended to stimulate the expansion of genetics and genomics research by enabling the generation of preliminary data and establishing collaborations so they can be convincingly presented in extramural grant applications. We encourage applicants to seek opportunities to

ELIGIBLITY: The RFA is open to all BU faculty on the Medical or Charles River campuses. Joint PIs are allowed. For faculty-level applicants, at least one PI must have been a GSI member for the six months prior to the submission deadline. (Exceptions for new faculty will be considered.) The GSI is open to all BU faculty engaged in genetics and/or genomics research. Please contact gsi@bu.edu to apply.


  1. A two-page application outlining the specific aims, rationale, background (brief) and methodology (brief) of the project.
  2. A one-page summary describing the expertise of the individuals involved.
  3. NIH four-page Biosketch including other support information for all participants.
  4. A detailed budget. Requests can be made only for support staff and/or supplies (i.e., not faculty salaries).
  5. Appropriate IRB/Animal Studies Approval.
  6. Application should be sent to gsi@bu.edu by 5:00 PM on Friday, April 10, 2015.

REVIEW PROCESS: Applications will be reviewed for scientific merit and potential importance in the field of genetics and genomics. Applications will be ranked by the GSI Seed Grant Committee and funding level determined by the GSI directors. A summary of the discussion is available by contacting the seed committee chair after the review. Anyone with a Conflict of Interest with a potential reviewer should make appropriate notes in the application.

REPORTING: Individuals who are funded should appropriately acknowledge support of the GSI in publications and grant applications that arise from this project. A 1-2 page progress report outlining the work carried out, as well as a basic breakdown of how funds have been spent is due 24 months from the date of award. (Although, individuals may be asked to provide this sooner.) Individuals will also be required to give a seminar in the GSI seminar series reporting their findings.

Finally, individuals are required to notify the GSI if any of the work conducted as a result of a GSI seed grant contributes in any way to either a publication or a subsequent award. This allows the GSI to measure the effectiveness of this program.

Learn QIAGEN IPA and CLC Workbench to generate hypotheses and insights for publications and grant renewals

Qiagen is holding an upcoming Zoom training from QIAGEN Digital Insights. Qiagen will provide no-cost trial access to our platforms, live demonstrations, and customized training.

Their next training will be in two sessions, the first using the CLC bio platform for sequence analysis of viral isolates, followed by a review of Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) on host responses.

On July 22nd there will be two training sessions.

Morning Session 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM: CLC Bio Platform

· Introduction to CLC bio
· Resequencing in CLC bio fundamentals
· Resequencing the SARS-COVID-19 virus
· Quick primer on HOST Resequencing/RNAseq of COVID Patients

Afternoon Session 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM: Pathway Analysis and Interpretation

· Introduction to QIAGEN Knowledge Base
· Analysis and interpretation of RNA-seq data
· Determining relevant pathways targeted by infection
· Identification of key upstream regulators and biological processes related to infection
· Finding isoforms that have a role in antiviral immune response
· Exploring trends across published data sets with Analysis Match

Register in advance for this webinar:

The contact for this event is below
Khushbu Kariwala
Account Manager- QIAGEN Digital Insights – Inside Sales
QIAGEN | 1001 Marshall Street | Redwood City, CA 94063 | USA
Phone: +1-415-6833-216

GSI Workshop Competition 2020 Winners

The Genome Science Institute is excited to announce the winners of our second annual Workshop Competition! For full details on the competition and our partners that made the competition possible, check out our official announcement here!

  1. scRNA-seq Award, theme - "Invertebrates": “Genomic analysis of brain evolution and complex social behavior: leveraging the power of single-cell RNA sequencing to understand functional neuroplasticity”
    Sean Mullen, Ph.D. and James Traniello, Ph.D.
    BU Dept of Biology

  2. scRNA-seq Award, theme – "Neurobiology": “Deciphering Down Syndrome (DS)-related abnormalities in the white matter using a novel platform.”
    Ella Zeldich Ph.D. and Tarik Haydar, Ph.D.
    BUSM Dept of Anatomy and Neurobiology

  3. scRNA-seq Award, theme – "Immunology": “Perform benchmark study of novel unbiased single cell surface proteome and transcriptome profiling technology.”
    Julian Kwan, Ph.D. Dylan Steiner, and Andrew Emili, Ph.D.
    BUSM Dept of Biochemistry and BU Biology

  4. scRNA-seq Award, theme – "Cancer and Stem Cells": “Defining cellular changes driving basal-like breast cancer initiation and invasion”
    Bob Varelas Ph.D.
    BUSM Dept of Biochemistry

  5. scRNA-seq Award, theme – "Lung and Fibrosis": “Time series scRNA-seq to dissect the fate decisions of human foregut patterning.”
    Taylor Matte and Finn Hawkings, MBBCh.
    BUSM Dept of Medicine, Pulmonary Center, and CReM


GSI Symposium Live Feed!

Can't make it to the symposium? No problem! Click the image below to watch the oral presentations and the award ceremony.

GSI 2019 Overview

The 2019 academic year has been a great period of transition for the GSI.  We are optimistically anticipating this transition to set the foundation for a new era - GSI 2.0.

To recap some noteworthy moments from this past year, the GSI has observed extensive personnel transitions including Anita DeStefano shifting to another leadership role outside of GSI, Rick Myers blissfully entering retirement, and the previous admin, Katie McCue, receiving a promotion. Despite the GSI's sadness in seeing their team members depart ways from the GSI, it is an exciting venture receiving new blood with raw enthusiasm to facilitate change. Nelson Lau was selected as the GSI's new Director, Rachel Flynn became the new Co-Director, and Emily Piontek now supports the GSI as a financial admin.

Outside of the shift in personnel, the Annual Symposium in November 2018 was well attended in conjunction with a record company sponsorship thanks to Katie McCue, Anita DeStefano, Rick Myers, and Alla Grishok.

The GSI seminars had exceptional attendance and were able to host some spectacular scientists and academics. We are eager to note that seminar planning for this coming academic year is already underway!

In partnership with the Graduate Program in Genetics & Genomics (GPGG), the GSI was able to provide student laptops as a resource for new students that join the program. This is the first time the GPGG/GSI has been able to offer this kind of perk and we are excited for our 2 new students to have a new level of support.

Another big win for the GSI has been hosting our first-ever ddPCR and scRNAseq Workshop Grants Competition that helped researchers collaborate in new ways and incentivize experimenting with new equipment that the GSI has funded.

All of these accomplishments could never have been done without the help of combining the previous experience of the GSI's tried-and-true team members with the new ideas and enthusiasm of our newest team members. We are so grateful for all the insight given to us from Anita, Rick, and Katie and we are excited to see how our new chapter of faculty and staff take their own spin on the GSI's mission. Keep your eyes peeled for an amazing 2020 for the GSI!


Faculty Promotions – Associate Professor

Big congratulations are in order for the recent promotions of two GSI faculty members - Dr. Hui Feng and Dr. Valentina Perissi! On May 15, 2019, it was announced that they each have been promoted to Associate Professor status.

The formal BUMC announcement notes each of their research focuses and accomplishments:

Hui Feng, MED, Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics and Medicine, established the Zebrafish Genetics and Cancer Therapeutics Laboratory using zebrafish to genetically screen for potential therapeutic targets for human cancers, based on tumor suppressive phenotypes. Dr. Feng's research studies how cancer cells adapt to cellular and microenvironmental stress and evade immune surveillance in zebrafish. Dr. Feng also collaborates with chemists to develop small molecule compounds to inhibit MYC-driven cancer aggressiveness. Current extramural funding includes an existing R01 and foundation grants (including one from the American Cancer Society) and has published articles in high-impact journals such as Nature, Nature Cell BiologyCancer Cell and Leukemia.

Click here for more information on my research and background!


Valentina Perissi, MED, Biochemistry, is a molecular and cell biologist whose NIH- and DOD-supported work investigates the interplay between inflammation and metabolism in the context of breast cancer and obesity-induced insulin resistance and diabetes. Dr. Perissi’s research investigates the mechanism of its actions in adipogenesis and has uncovered a critical, non-transcriptional role for GPS2 in regulating the enzymatic activity of the TRAF2/CIAP1/Ubc13 ubiquitin conjugating complex. The Perissi lab uses tissue-specific mouse models to study how the different components of the NCoR complex contribute to broadly regulate the cellular responses to external stimulation by acting in different cellular compartments to modulate hormonal and inflammatory pathways. Dr. Perissi is also the Co-Director of the Adipose Tissue Biology and Nutrient Metabolism Core  in the Boston Nutrition Obesity Research Center.

Click here for more information on my research and background!

The Genome Science Insitute is very proud to have members that are dedicated to advancing genetics and genomics research while also recognizing them for their vast, overall accomplishments. We can't wait to see what your futures have in store and look forward to your future scientific accomplishments!

GSI Seminar Speaker, May 22, Len Zon

"Pathways regulating hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal and migration"

Professor of Pediatric Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Director of Stem Cell Program at Boston Children’s Hospital

2PM in the Conte Building, K103

GSI Workshop Competition 2019 Winners

The Genome Science Institute is excited to announce the winners of our first ever Workshop Competition! For full details on the competition and our partners that made the competition possible, check out our official announcement here!

  1. Digital Droplet PCR Award – “Quantitative measurement of intact HIV provirus in latent reservoir of aging HIV populations”
    Alex Olson, Carolyn Coote, and Andrew Henderson, Ph.D.
    BMC and BUSM Dept of Medicine and Microbiology

  2. scRNA-seq Award – “A transcriptomic analysis of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived conventional dendritic cells”
    Ian Rifkin, M.D. Ph.D. and Gustavo Mostoslavsky, M.D. Ph.D.
    BUSM Dept of Microbiology, Dept of Medicine, CREM

  3. scRNA-seq Award – “Role of microRNAs in channeling cell fate determination”
    Daniel Cifuentes, Ph.D.
    BUSM Dept of Biochemistry

  4. scRNA-seq Award – “Single Cell Analysis of Skull Formation”
    Shannon Fisher, M.D. Ph.D.
    BUSM Dept of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

  5. scRNA-seq Award – “Role of GPS2 in Adipose Tissue Adaptation to Metabolic Stress”
    Valentina Perissi, Ph.D.
    BUSM Dept of Biochemistry


GSI Seminar Speaker, Mar 20, John Kim

"Small RNAs and non-canonical RBPs in worms and yeast"

Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins University, Department of Biology

3PM in the Conte Building, K103

GSI Seminar Speaker, Jan 16, Frank Slack

“MicroRNAs for Personalized Medicine in Cancer”

Director, HMS Initiative for RNA Medicine, Shields Warren Mallinckrodt Professor of Medical Research, BIDMC Cancer Center, Harvard Medical School

3PM in the Conte Building, K103

BUSM GSI 2019 Workshop Competition Announcement

The BUSM Genome Science Institute, in collaboration with the BU Single-Cell Sequencing Core, is sponsoring two workshops this Spring 2019, providing the BUMC and BU research community a chance to explore two developing areas of genomic experiments for generating preliminary data for future grant proposals. 

Both workshops are limited competitions for labs to submit an experimental proposal by March 15, 2019.  Winners selected by the GSI Review Panel would receive a set of deeply subsidized reagents from the GSI to conduct Droplet Digital PCR (ddPCR) or a pilot Single-Cell RNA Sequencing experiment (scRNASeq). Three awards for ddPCR (up to $2400 reagent value per lab) and three awards for scRNA-Seq (up to $9000 in reagent value per lab) will be made to the best-chosen proposals.

On February 20, the GSI will host a seminar by Biorad scientists on the theory and workflow of Droplet Digital PCR on the QX200 instrument housed on K-building, 2nd floor.  There will also be an info session discussing the scope of the Single Cell RNA Sequencing Pilot experiments.  These workshop awards will allow labs to conduct significant but focused pilot experiments, and details will be discussed at the February seminar and updated on this website.

If your lab is interested in ddPCR, please enter your interest information at this link.

Two-page long proposals must be submitted to the GSI website by March 15, and winners would be announced promptly and will be required to submit samples for experimentation by the end of the Spring term. Results from pilot experiments should then be presented at the GSI Research Symposium in November 2019. 

Click here for details on the proposal criteria.

Click here for the ddPCR Applications Guide.


For further questions, please email the GSI at gsi@bu.edu.