The NIH NIGMS P41-funded DRSC-BTRR helps researchers realize the full potential of Drosophila melanogaster as a model for the study of human health and disease, and is breaking new ground by enabling new studies in mosquito vectors of disease.
The DRSC-BTRR develops state-of-the-art tools and methods in three technology areas: (1) Development of technologies for Drosophila cell-based and in vivo studies, (2) Application of technologies for study of mosquito vectors of human diseases, and (3) Development of in vivo proteomics technologies for Drosophila.
We develop technologies through iterative rounds of testing and improvement together with ‘driving biomedical projects’ at collaborating labs that can benefit from the technologies. Current collaborators include experts in cancer therapeutics, rare genetic diseases, and mosquito vectors of infectious diseases.
To further extend the impact of the technologies, we engage in community activities that inform a broad audience and rapidly disseminate technologies. Altogether, we will serve as an integrated, collaborative resource engaging in projects with strong potential for impact in areas that are of interest to several institutes at the US National Institutes of Health.
Point-of-contact for inquiries about DSRC-BTRR technologies and collaborations: Stephanie Mohr
Technology Research & Development (TR&D) focus areas:
TR&D1: Development of CRISPR-based functional genomics technologies for high-throughput screening in Drosophila cultured cells and for use in vivo in Drosophila. Read more about CRISPR knockout in Drosophila cells here.
TR&D2: Development of CRISPR-based functional genomics and other technologies for use in mosquitos, including development of CRISPR screening technologies for use in mosquito cell lines. Read more about mosquito cell technologies here.
TR&D3: Development of proteomics-based technologies for use in vivo in Drosophila, including development of new protein binding and labeling technologies.
Additional components of the DRSC-BTRR include
- Driving Biomedical Projects (DBPs), which allow us to directly meet the needs of collaborators through iterative technology testing and development
- Collaboration & Service Projects (CSPs), such as Drosophila cell-based RNAi screens using established technologies
- Community Engagement, including presentations and workshops aimed at helping the broadest possible research community access DRSC-BTRR technologies
- Administration & Management, including oversight by NIH NIGMS leadership and scientific advisors to the DRSC-BTRR
Interested to use our technologies to help address your biomedical topic of interest? Contact DRSC-BTRR Director Stephanie Mohr
What is the DRSC-BTRR? Plain-language statement of our goals and approaches:
Typical research labs use many technologies to study one or a few biomedical topics. At the DRSC-BTRR, we flip that model. We focus on developing and improving technologies, and we help other labs apply these technologies to study many different topics. What kind of technologies are we working on? We aim to develop new technologies for manipulating genes and proteins in insects or insect cultured cells. Specifically, we are focused on developing technologies that can be applied for research purposes in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, which has long been used to uncover fundamental biological concepts and human disease-relevant information, and in cultured cells either from Drosophila or from mosquitos that spread human diseases such as malaria or zika virus disease. To accomplish this--and to stay focused on technologies that truly meet needs--we partner with laboratories that can benefit from applying the technologies. Among the labs we are currently partnering with are labs focused on the study of rare human genetic diseases, labs interested to find new treatments for cancer, and labs focused on understanding relationships between microbes that cause mosquito-borne diseases and their mosquito hosts. As part of our efforts, we engage in outreach to research communities that can benefit from our technologies to make sure that they hear about and learn how to use them. Once technologies are mature, we also publish detailed protocols and provide the materials we have developed, such as DNA plasmids or modified cell lines, to academic and non-profit facilities that specialize in storage and distribution of research materials. Through training, publication of protocols, and transfer of materials to distribution facilities, we make sure that researchers across the US and elsewhere will have easy access to DRSC-BTRR technologies for years to come.
Funding: NIGMS P41 GM132087: "Functional genomics resources for the Drosophila and broader research communities" (PI: N. Perrimon | Co-I: S. Mohr)(08/01/2019 - 04/30/2024)
Projects that benefit from our in vivo, cell and/or bioinformatics resources should cite the above grant. Citation is critical to our ability to demonstrate our successful development of resources and outreach to relevant communities.