Torigoe secures New Investigator Grant
Assistant Professor of Biology Sharon Torigoe has been awarded a $50,000 Medical Research Foundation (MRF) grant for her proposed project, “Investigating the Features of Enhancer Sequences that Direct Naïve-State Pluripotency.” The MRF New Investigator Grant program “supports promising new investigators in biomedical research.” Set to begin March 1, Dr. Torigoe will use this one-year award to move her research agenda forward during her current sabbatical and to support two Lewis & Clark undergraduates conducting mentored research in her laboratory this summer.
Dr. Torigoe’s research explores how gene regulation is programmed in non-coding genomic sequences like promoters and enhancers. For this proposed study, Dr. Torigoe and her team of undergraduate students will investigate the sequence-based characteristics for the enhancers of Klf4, a critical factor for establishing pluripotency. Results from this work will reveal unique genetic features that control pluripotency and new insight into pluripotent stem cells (PSCs). The foundation of mammalian development, PSCs have the ability to self-renew and to differentiate into any functional cell-type and, therefore, play a central role in the future of regenerative medicine. More information about Dr. Torigoe’s research program is available here. As Dr. Torigoe shared, “This (grant) will make such a difference not only to my future at Lewis & Clark College but also to the students in my lab.”
Dr. Torigoe is also the lead Principal Investigator (PI) on a recent Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) grant from the NSF that funded the purchase a cell sorter, and the PI on a M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust Natural Sciences Research grant in 2020.