Auburn immunologist, evolutionary biologist using $900,000 NSF award to collaborate with London researcher to sequence DNA of sea urchins, stars

Published: September 15, 2022

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Kate Buckley, an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, is the recipient of a $910,860 National Science Foundation, or NSF, award to learn more about immunology with echinoderms, or sea urchins and sea stars. The project, “Regulatory control of the system-wide innate immune response in marine invertebrates,” is funded by the Division of Integrative Organismal Systems and Direct for Biological Sciences within NSF.

Buckley is collaborating Paola Oliveri, a professor of developmental and evolutionary biology, from the University College of London, or UCL, who also received research funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, or BBSRC, a part of UK Research and Innovation. Oliveri focuses on the development and skeletons of sea urchins, which complements Buckley’s work focusing on immunology.

Buckley and her team in the Buckley Lab will start by conducting fundamental research on these sea urchins and sea stars to define pathogens and cells involved in immune responses.

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Submitted by: Maria Gebhardt