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Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Grant Awarded to NOAA Partner

On August 10, 2012, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative awarded researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina, a partner institute of NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science Hollings Marine Laboratory, one of 19 grants that support studies determining environmental effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010.

The university researchers will evaluate what effects petroleum and dispersant exposure have on embryonic stem cells from pygmy sperm whales, alligators, pigs and mice. Researchers will receive approximately $1.2 million award over the next three years for this work, which will contribute to the initiative’s theme 3: “Environmental Effects on Higher Life Forms”.

An expert panel winnowed 629 letters of intent from applicants, evaluating the research projects for scientific and technical merit. The panel recommended a number to the initiative’s research board which approved funding for only 19 of the proposals.

For more information, read “BP-Sponsored Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Awards New Grants

Through a series of competitive grant programs, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative is investigating the impacts of the oil, dispersed oil, and dispersant on the ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico and the affected coastal states in a broad context of improving fundamental understanding of the dynamics of such events and their environmental stresses and public health implications.

Project: Using Embryonic Stem Cell Fate to Determine Potential Adverse Effects of Petroleum/Dispersant Exposure

Investigators: Demetri D. Spyropoulos, Satomi Kohno, John E. Baatz, and Louis J. Guillette, Medical University of South Carolina

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