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UO Physics Faculty Leads New Study of Aquatic Symbioses

A UO-led team of researchers spanning physics, neuroscience, molecular biology, ecology and evolution will use a new $325,000 grant to examine aquatic symbioses — the interactions between different animal species living together.

The project is funded by a 30-month award from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation  and involves the study of zebrafish in controlled ecosystems.

The team will leverage decades’ worth of pioneering research at the UO involving zebrafish and explorations of the gut microbiome, in which vast numbers of microbes contribute to both health and disease in their hosts. UO has been a leader in zebrafish research since the 1960s, when the late biologist George Streisinger established zebrafish as an ideal model for studying human development and disease.

“We aim to develop new tools for studying these symbioses throughout the entire lifespan of zebrafish, which serves as a model aquatic animal and a model for phenomena relevant to all vertebrates, including humans,” said Raghuveer Parthasarathy, an Alec and Kay Keith Professor in the Department of Physics, a member of the UO’s Institute of Molecular Biology and Materials Science Institute, and the principal investigator on the award.

You can read the full Around-the-O article here.