Successfully building on their IBB seed grant, the Lu and McGrath lab have received an R21 from the National Institute of Aging to develop SWADE (for selection of weak alleles using directed evolution) as a novel approach to select multigenic changes to any trait of choice. Development of this approach could revolutionize how forward genetics is done in the lab to identify new genes that regulate biological traits and also identify non-additive interactions. SWADE harnesses the power of evolution to select for phenotypes with small effect. Selection is provided for by using microfluidic-based sorting of thousands of worms based upon a fluorescent marker.
Weipeng Zhuo, graduate student in the McGrath lab, was a co-first author on a paper describing a size-sorting device to separate C. elegans animals by state. This paper was published in Lab on a Chip. Congrats Weipeng!
Patrick McGrath published a review paper in Current Opinion in Neurobiology. This paper describes how genetics can affect the function and properties of the nervous system.