Dear Schisto members!
We have had some trouble with the net, which did not allow me for some time to
forward messages to you. I hope that we have overcome these problems now, and
that this newsgroup can be used again for the distribution of diverse mails.
This mail includes a forwarded message from David Johnston in his function as
the Secretary to the WHO Schistosoma Genome Network.
Subject: Schistosoma Genome Initiative - Workplan and call for applications:
Please find below the 1998-1999 Workplan for the Schistosoma Genome
Initiative as recommended by the 1998 Meeting of the UNDP-WHO-World Bank
Schistosoma Genome Network.
At WHO's request, the workplan has been expanded from that of previous
years to include both genomic and "post-genomic" activities and so
participation may be of interest to a wider range of laboratories. The
deadline for the next round of applications is the end of June 1998.
Funding is through open competition between all applications from all
WHO-TDR-Genome target parasites, but the overall amounts available are
small (some US$500,000 per year for the whole scheme) so grants should be
realistic and "pump-priming" in nature. You do not have to be part of the
formal Schisto Network to apply (not that it is formal anyway, and you are
welcome to sign up at any time). WHO grant application forms and more
general information (including WHO's definition of "post genomic" studies)
are available from the WHO WWW site:
under http://www.who.ch/tdr/workplan/genome.htm for general info, and WHO's
definition of "post genomic" studies (and the old version of the workplan)
under http://www.who.ch/tdr/forms/apps/app_dnld.htm for the actual forms.
If you do apply to WHO, please contact Phil Loverde, the Schisto Network
co-ordinator (loverde at buffalo.edu) as it will be his job to defend your
application to the WHO Steering Committee and it will be of great benifit
to you if he is well briefed.
1998-1999 Workplan for the UNDP-WHO-World Bank Schistosoma Genome Initiative
as recommended by the 1998 Meeting of the UNDP-WHO-World Bank Schistosoma
Genome Network, Ria das Pedras, RJ, Brazil, 11-14 May 1998
To be continued as the priority activity. (Status as of 08/04/98: S.
mansoni: 4025 sequences, 2760 unique sequences, S. japonicum: 717
sequences, 532 unique sequences). Both S. mansoni and S. japonicum to be
random EST generation (ongoing), current sequencing includes egg, lung
stage, mixed adult and adult male libraries (initiated)
targeted gene discovery for gene / gene families of interest (ongoing,
current targets include small GTP-binding proteins and cell cycle
use and supply of "DNA Chips" (gene arrays) to permit analysis of changes
in gene expression patterns (a) through development (to identify
stage-specific or stage-regulated genes) (b) as a result of drug-induced or
metabolic stress, or signal molecule-induction (c) in different definitive
or intermediate host species (to be initiated)
targeted gene discovery for new genes / gene families of interest,
including potential drug targets, surface molecules, signal receptors,
intracellular signal transduction molecules, metabolic regulators
sequencing / analysis of the schistosome mitochondrial genome (a) to
identify respiratory genes as potential drug targets (b) to provide
potential makers for population analysis, and to help analyse transmission
dynamics (c) to provide a single probe for pre-screening gene discovery
libraries for the most common redundant and a reference sequence for
post-screening / cleaning the database (to be initiated)
Use of filter hybridisation strategies to complete a YAC contig map of
chromosome 3 (ongoing)
increase density of YAC clones on chromosome maps (ongoing).
Identification of transposable elements and microsatellite elements as
markers for physical map (to be initiated)
Maintain and develop SchistoDB and Network WWW site. Priority area -
cluster analysis / identification of unique sequences and generation of
cluster concensus sequences (ongoing).
Provide in-country bioinformatics training for Network laboratories, and
explore possibility of international workshops on informatics strategies
for Network PIs / Co-I (to be initiated)
Production of "DNA Chips" (gene arrays) for unique genes (using
conventional filter or micro-array technology) and concurrent development
of mirrored resource centres (UK, Brazil) for resulting clone sets (for
both S. mansoni and S. japonicum) (to be initiated)
Development of a normalised adult worm library in standard and mammalian
expression vector systems (to be initiated)
Development of miracidial and sporocyst libraries for gene discovery, to
fill gaps in life cycle (to be initiated)
Complete production of the BAC library (ongoing)
Production of high density filters from existing YAC library (some
generated, more to be generated)
Investigation of the use of sequence divergence rates for unknown ESTs
(S. mansoni / S. japonicum / S. haematobium) as an indicator of
evolutionary-stress to identify possible drug / vaccine targets. (1 year
pilot investigation, to be initiated in 1999-2000)
Development of transgenic schistosome systems and schistosome cell lines
(future goal, not currently practical on TDR-GENOME funding)
Development of a complete physical map of schistosome chromosomes
Annual updating of "DNA Chips" (gene arrays) to include newly deposited
Complete sequencing of characterized ESTs of predicted drug target /
vaccine / diagnostic potential (not on TDR-GENOME funding, unless level of
Please do not hesitate to contact me for further information, if required.
With best wishes,
David A. Johnston,
Secretary to the WHO Schistosoma Genome Network,
Biomedical Parasitology Division,
Dept. of Zoology,
The Natural History Museum,
Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, England, UK.
Tel: 0171 9389297 (from outside the UK: 44 171 9389297)
Fax: 0171 9388754 (from outside the UK: 44 171 9388754)
eMail daj at nhm.ac.uk
Please note the new WW site address:
The Biomedical Parasitology Division is a WHO Collaborating Centre for the
identification of schistosomes and their snail hosts.