Zebrafish Models for Pediatric Research


Human genetic and genomic studies produce an avalanche of candidate human disease genes and specific mutations that require validation in vivo. To facilitate testing candidate pediatric disease genes, generation of new zebrafish pediatric disease models and piloting chemical screens, the Children’s Discovery Institute has funded a three-year proposal to establish a Zebrafish Models for Pediatric Research Cooperative of several WUSM core facilities, including: Fish Facility (FF), Genome Technology Access Center (GTAC), Genome Engineering and iPSC Core (GEiC), WU High Throughput Screening Core (HTS), Molecular Vectors Core (MVC), WU Center for Cellular Imaging (WUCCI) and Protein & Nucleic Acid Chemistry Laboratory (PNACL).

The CDI award will support the following types of projects:

  • Design and construction of guide RNAs and DNA constructs for gene disruption, editing and transgenesis
  • Generation, genotyping, maintenance and cryopreservation of zebrafish models
  • DNA sequencing and indel analysis
  • Gene expression and epigenetic profiling
  • Pilot chemical screens 


The Zebrafish Models for Pediatric Research Cooperative will enable new projects that utilize zebrafish to understand, diagnose and develop treatments for birth defects and pediatric diseases. The maximum grant amount is $10,000 per project. An investigator may have only one project within the same year. All micro-grants have a funding period of one-year. A no-cost extension option is not available for a micro-grant. The number of awards made depends upon the number of qualifying applications received, and a minimum of 10 awards of up to $10,000 are anticipated to be funded in each fiscal year 2017, 2018 and 2019.

The ZRSC is not currently accepting proposals.  A new proposal cycle will begin on May 1, 2017.


Awardees must hold a faculty appointment at the Instructor or Assistant Professor level and above at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. Research must use the zebrafish model and seek answers to pediatric disease-related questions.


Micro-grants will be awarded up to $10,000. Funds remaining at the end of the funding period will be relinquished. Successful proposals must be approved, if applicable, by the Animal Studies Committee Biosafety and/or Radiation Safety Committees before an account can be establishedApprovals may be pending at the time of application. The micro-grant may not include salary coverage or supplies of any kind. The grant is only eligible to pay for services performed (100% of cost) from a ZRSC Core: FF, GTAC, GEiC, HTSC, MVC, WUCCI and PNACL. Grantees are expected to cite CDI support for all publications, press releases or presentations citing results from this micro-grant and must include the following acknowledgement: “Funding for this project was provided by the Children’s Discovery Institute of Washington University and St. Louis Children’s Hospital.” A final report will be required at the end of the grant period.


To obtain approximate project costs and/or request additional information regarding your research project, contact the applicable core: 

FF Core, Isa Roszko, roszkoi@wustl.edu
GTAC Core, Richard Head, rhead@wustl.edu
CGEiC Core, Xiaoxia Cui, x.cui@wustl.edu
HTSC, Maxine Ilagan, ilaganmg@wustl.edu
TVC, Renate Lewis, lewisr@wustl.edu
WUCCI Core, James Fitzpatrick, fitzp@wustl.edu
PNACL Core, Misty Veschak, veschak@wustl.edu

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