Dr. Marcus Cooke, Environmental Health Sciences professor and Biomolecular Sciences Institute faculty member, together with Mr. Christopher Ross, Engineering Resources Group president, has received STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) funding from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. This STTR funding will support the project titled “AHTP-Comet: Development of an Automated, High Throughput Comet Assay System.”
The project represents a strategic effort between Engineering Resources Group (an NSF I-Corps experienced small business corporation) and FIU to determine the technical merit, feasibility and commercial potential of an automated HTP (AHTP) comet device through refinement and miniaturization. This benchtop automated device will perform the assessment of DNA damage and repair, which will help advance the knowledge of the role of DNA damage in health and disease, and its environmental causes. DNA damage, caused by environmental agents, or the body’s normal processes, plays a critical role in the development of many major human diseases with profound public health implications. The development of an automated device that is simple, rapid, with increased throughput and affords increased precision, will advance translational discovery, stimulate biomonitoring and promote new applications for the assessment of DNA damage and repair and cellular antioxidant capacity.