Drug repurposing to combat a global bacterial zoonosis

Our project aims to evaluate a new drug to treat brucellosis, an infectious disease transmissible to humans by certain domestic animals (cows or goats). This debilitating disease affects around 1 million new people each year. The advantage of this candidate drug is that it is already being used to treat another disease, which would significantly reduce the costs and validation time to be able to use it to control brucellosis.

Understanding Wildfires

Wildfires have become a reoccurring phenomenon in the South of France and in California. Our proposed work focusses on the boundaries of fires between suburban development and fire prone terrains that are covered by forests, grassland or chaparral in three CAL-FIRE districts within the San Francisco Bay Area. Our team will conduct ten-day residences in each of the three districts to record and communicate the conditions in burn-out areas of recent fires through images, drawings and text.

Statistical relational artificial intelligence for assisted orchestration

The aim of this project is to contribute to the development of new strategies and technologies for music processing, and specifically for Assisted Orchestration (AO).  The project builds on current work carried out in each team to assemble the necessary technical infrastructure, create tools, and conduct the analysis for the development of techniques for AO.

Biogeophysics for Climate Resilient Viticulture

The France-Berkeley Fund will provide the catalyst to establish a multi-institutional collaboration on a frontier topic that is of great interest to Berkeley and France but that requires multidisciplinary scientific expertise to accelerate. The proposed project brings together 7 established scientists from 5 Berkeley/Bordeaux institutions (Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley, Bordeaux INP, Bordeaux Science Agro, INRAE French National Institute of Agriculture), each having world-recognized expertise in environmental geophysics, soil-plant microbial ecology, soil physics, or viticulture.

Unconventional steroid signaling in the choroid plexus: implication in traumatic brain injury

Choroid plexus (CP) epithelia main function consists in producing and regulating cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Such regulation is achieved through transepithelial solute transport via plasma membrane ion channels and transporters. Interestingly, steroids and specially progesterone has been shown to exert potent neuroprotective action. Since fluid secretion in CP is under control of ion channels and transporters, we aim to explore whether progesterone can modulate Transient Receptor Potential channel activity directly in an unconventional manner meaning a rapid non-genomic way.

Understanding Convective Organization in the Tropical Atmosphere

This project aims at advancing our fundamental understanding of atmospheric deep convection (thunderstorms) and its spatial organization, which is a grand challenge in climate science. The success of this project will help guide and improve representations of organized convection in climate models, which would make more reliable projections about extreme precipitation events in future climates.

Bioinformatic identification and functional analysis of disease resistance and susceptibility genes to fungal diseases in wheat and rice

This project will address fundamental questions on the function, diversity and evolution of plant NLRs (nucleotide-binding and leucine-rich repeat domain proteins) that are an important class of immune receptors and the main class of genes employed in crop disease resistance breeding. This collaboration between the research groups of K. Krasileva at UC Berkeley and T. Kroj at INRA Montpellier will result in exchange of expertise and joint development of standardized protocols for functional and comparative genomic investigation of NLRs.

Experimental and mathematical models articulation: a bifocal lens to study the ecology of the colon microbiota

The gut microbiota provides number of beneficial functions to its host, including nutrition, immune system regulation and niche protection against pathogens, and in return, the host shapes the environment to ensure commensal bacteria provide benefit. To maintain this ecosystemic symbiotic interactions at the organ scale, a myriad of microscale interactions occurs, between bacteria, or between the host and the microbiota. Data at different scale and resolution must be articulated to decipher these ecosystem-wide regulation mechanisms.

Synthetic apomixis in rice: Enabling hybrid seeds for smallholder farmers

High yields from crops can be achieved by the use of hybrid plants, which are much more vigorous than inbred plants. However, seeds of hybrids are relatively expensive due to the additional steps required to generate them by cross-pollination. Consequently, hybrids are underutilized for many crops grown by smallholder farmers, including rice, a major staple cropin the developing world. The barrier could be overcome if it were possible to produce a hybrid crop plant that self-reproduces through seeds while maintaining its hybrid constitution.