Weekly reads: R01 grant trends, DPPA4, adult human neurogenesis debate

Great ideas and talented scientists are not enough as biomedical research needs funding and here in the U.S. that means having R01 grant success. The trends since 1995 are slowly heading the wrong way. The average age of getting your first R01 grant keeps getting older. There is also still a bit of a possible gender gap on R01s but I’m not clear on how significant it is.

It’s also a problem that the standard R01 grant is still $250K/year, a total that in real spending power has eroded over the years because of inflation. At the bottom of the post the last article cited is from NIH on the grant trends.

Okay, turning to stem cells, the news of the week is the lawsuit of the lady who says she was blinded in one eye by a stem cell clinic. It’s a sad deja vu situation given that numerous other people have filed suits for losing vision at various clinics too.

I would have hoped by now that nobody would be doing injections of fat cells or whatever into people’s eyes anymore at clinics.

NIH R01 grant trends
NIH R01 grant trends “Gender-based distributions by fiscal year of age of Principal Investigators receiving support on NIH R01 award for the first time.”

DPPA2 and 4 in stem cells and cancer

Moving on to the new science for the week, my lab has a new review out on a very interesting group of stem cell-related transcription factors called the “DPPA” factors.

We especially focus on DPPA4 and DPPA2, which are related proteins that are specific to pluripotent cells and cancer. New studies suggest roles for them in ZGA or zygotic gene activation.

Here’s our review: DPPA2, DPPA4, and other DPPA factor epigenomic functions in cell fate and cancer.

More stem cell pubs, policy, etc.

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