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Biomedicine Grants Awarded
Jun 2007
BETHESDA, Md., June 12, 2007 -- The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a part of the National Institutes of Health, announced today it will provide $20.65 million in grants to fund cutting-edge equipment required to advance biomedical research.

Awarded to research institutions around the country, the High-End Instrumentation (HEI) one-time grants support the purchase of sophisticated instruments costing more than $750,000. Each of the 14 grants range in size from more than $730,000 to $2 million.

“These high-performance imaging instruments and other advanced technologies enable both basic discoveries that shed light on the underlying causes of disease and the development of novel therapies to treat them,” said Dr. Barbara Alving, NCRR director. “The value of this investment in advanced equipment is greatly leveraged because each of these rare tools is used by a number of investigators, advancing a broad range of research projects.”

The 14 awards in this round of funding will enable the purchase of a variety of sophisticated instruments. For example, Nashville’s Vanderbilt University will use its $2 million grant to acquire a 7 tesla human magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy system, which provides the highest magnetic imaging available for humans and is one of only several such instruments in the country.

With its $1.95 million award, the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio will obtain a high-field 7 tesla MRI scanner capable of performing such demanding studies as functional brain and cardiac imaging in a variety of animal species.

The purchase of several 3 tesla MRI scanners will be used to develop minimally invasive therapies at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and for psychiatric applications at the Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research in Orangeburg, N.Y. ; both received $2 million grants. In addition, nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers will be supported to probe intermolecular interactions at Burnham Institute for Medical Research in La Jolla, Calif. ($1.44 million), and to research protein structure, function, and folding at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and Dentistry in Farmington ($2 million).

Three high-performance, hybrid linear ion trap-Fourier transform mass spectrometers will be funded. One will be located at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore ($928, 365) to benefit researchers investigating ischemia and hypoxia, among other projects; another at the University of Arizona at Tucson ($924,995) will enable structural studies of proteins; and the third at the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center ($1 million) will facilitate cancer research and other studies.

Also, a pulsed electron paramagnetic resonance/X-band electron nuclear double resonance spectrometer will be bought with its $1 million grant by the University of Washington in Seattle to study the function of enzymes, structural proteins, and proteins at DNA and RNA interfaces.

Another $2 million award will support the University of California, San Diego, in its acquisition of a high-performance, intermediate voltage transmission electron microscope (TEM) to enable 3-D imaging of sections of cells and biological tissues. 

Tthe University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute in Baltimore will receive $737,850 for a confocal imaging system to enable the study of calcium signaling in living cells, as well as investigations involving neuronal and brain slice imaging.

At the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, positron emission tomography (PET) tracer development and production equipment will be purchased with its $1.5 million grant to facilitate research involving cancer, neuroscience, cardiovascular, and regenerative medicine. 

New state-of-the-art DNA sequencing instrumentation will be acquired by Yale University in New Haven, Conn., with its $1 million grant to assist investigations involving epilepsy, psychiatric disorders, autism, cardiovascular disorders, and cancer.

To qualify for a HEI award, institutions must identify three or more National Institutes of Health-funded investigators whose research requires the requested instrument. Matching funds are not required, but institutions are expected to provide an appropriate level of support for associated infrastructure, such as building alterations or renovations, technical personnel, and post-award service contracts for instrument maintenance and operation.

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