MU's Swine Somatic Cell Genome Editing Center will work to develop treatments for human diseases. | Courtesy of the MU News Bureau

MU researchers land $8.6 million NIH grant for swine research

The University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources has received an $8.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to establish a new national research center, the university announced Wednesday. The Swine Somatic Cell Genome Editing Center will help to translate swine research into treatments for human diseases.

Randy Prather, director of the National Swine Resource and Research Center and an animal science professor, and Kevin Wells, a genetics professor, are co-lead researchers on the grant. The researchers at the new center will work to create protocols to evaluate the safety and efficacy of reagents, the tools used to edit and repair disease-related genes.

The center could aid in the development of biomedical treatments for cystic fibrosis, among other human diseases, according to MU’s announcement.

The grant will be distributed over five years and is the latest expansion of the Somatic Cell Gene Editing Consortium, a program that aims to develop quality tools to perform effective and safe genome editing in patients.

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