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Applied Biosystems donates products for UTHSC diabetes research

San Antonio (Aug. 22, 2003) — Dawn Richardson, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow studying the genetics of diabetes at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSC), is one of four researchers to win a grant from Applied Biosystems Group (NYSE:ABI), a manufacturer of instruments, software and reagents for the life sciences industry.

Applied Biosystems will support the project by providing SNP genotyping products to enable Dr. Richardson to complete her research in the laboratory of Chris Jenkinson, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine at UTHSC and a health science specialist with the South Texas Veterans Health Care System.

Dr. Richardson seeks to genotype 500 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 1,000 individuals of Mexican-American descent. SNPs are common, but minute, variations that occur in human DNA and can be used to track inheritance in families. This will enable her to map a region of human chromosome 6 that has been linked to the development of Type 2 diabetes in this population. She hopes to identify a gene or genes associated with this condition.

"We are looking at a very strong candidate gene in that region," said Dr. Jenkinson, who previously worked with Arizona's Pima Indians, another group with high incidence of diabetes.

The grant is a "fantastic boost" for Dr. Richardson early in her career, she said. A native of Doncaster, a city in South Yorkshire, England, she came to UTHSC last year from Aston University in Birmingham, England.

Applied Biosystems Group, an Applera Corp. business, is based in Foster City, Calif. The SNP genotyping products awarded under the grant may include the Assays-on-Demand™ products — quantitative, ready-to-use probe and primer sets based on TaqMan® reagent-based chemistry, or instruments for SNP-based genotyping, including Applied Biosystems Sequence Detection Systems.

Contact: Will Sansom