Past INBRE project leader Jack Bateman has been awarded the National Science Foundation’s prestigious CAREER award in the amount of $797,395 for his project “Mechanisms of cis-/trans promotor competition in Drosophila.” Bateman, an assistant professor at Bowdoin College, studies the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model system to better understand how genes can be turned on and off. His CAREER grant research is focusing on enhancers and promoters, pieces of DNA that are analogous to a locks and keys for activating genes.
Bateman’s research was supported by INBRE from 2009-2013. During this time, his project produced four publications and he mentored 11 undergraduate researchers, several of whom were co-authors on peer-reviewed publications. Bateman said that INBRE “allowed me to have successful collaborations with other researchers here at Bowdoin as well as at Harvard, Brown, and the University of Connecticut,” and has “dramatically transformed the research environment at Bowdoin, particularly for summer research students, who now feel as if they are part of a larger endeavor.”
Bateman’s plans for the CAREER award include using his research to develop a laboratory module for Bowdoin genetics students to carry out as part of their coursework, exploring interactions between different enhancers and promoters. He will collaborate with colleagues at Southern Maine Community College to host an annual molecular biology workshop for SMCC students at Bowdoin, based on the same lab module used in his genetics class. The grant will also support two summer undergraduate researchers each year to work in Bateman’s lab.