Group of people in front of a building/
Xiangmin Xu, Autumn Ivy, Bert Semler, Todd Holmes and Orkide Koyuncu (from left) will expand the production and distribution of cell-type-specific viral targeting reagents. Steve Zylius / UCI

UCI has received a $3.8 million BRAIN Initiative grant from the National Institutes of Health to enhance the production and distribution of cell-type-specific viral targeting reagents that are emerging as critical tools. This funding, leveraging UCI’s designation as a minority-serving institution, will enable the expansion of adeno-associated virus production at the campus’s Center for Neural Circuit Mapping. Xiangmin Xu, UCI professor of anatomy & neurobiology and CNCM director, and Gordon Fishell, professor of neurobiology at Harvard University, are co-principal investigators. “We have a strong neuroscience reagent core facility at UCI and will collaborate closely with Harvard University and the Broad Institute to scale up and optimize production and distribution processes for viruses that they have designed. We are proud that UCI has become a national center of viral resources, which strengthens the U.S. scientific enterprise,” Xu said. Partners also include scientists and trainees from Pomona’s Western University of Health Sciences and Atlanta’s Morehouse School of Medicine, as well as UCI’s Todd Holmes, professor of physiology and biophysics; Bert Semler, Distinguished Professor of microbiology and molecular genetics; Autumn Ivy, assistant professor of pediatrics; and Orkide Koyuncu, assistant professor of microbiology and molecular genetics. This work is supported by NIH award number U24MH13326.