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NIGMS invests in scientific Grand Opportunities with Recovery Act funds

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is investing $42.3 million for grants in scientific areas it identified as "Grand Opportunities (GO)." NIH developed the GO grant program to stimulate biomedical research and the economy using funds provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act).

"The GO grants fund projects that promise to have a significant impact on a field of biomedical science over two years," said NIGMS Director Jeremy M. Berg, Ph.D. "By closing specific knowledge gaps, creating new technologies, or building community-wide resources, these awards will dramatically propel progress in key scientific fields with a one-time investment."

The Recovery Act grants will also contribute to the economic recovery by creating jobs for researchers, technical and support staff, the makers of scientific equipment and others across the country. States receiving GO grants are: Arkansas, California, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and Wisconsin.

The GO grants include a broad range of projects. Several establish new databases, service centers or other resources that will be accessible to the entire scientific community, advancing biomedical researchand possibly medical carefor years to come. Others tackle large projects, such as understanding the activity of all the genes in human white blood cells, which require the collaborative work of dozens of scientists.

NIGMS has awarded 14 GO grants to scientists in 13 states:

  • VESPA: Vanderbilt Electronic Systems for Pharmacogenomic Assessment, $1.4 million.
    Daniel Masys and Dan Roden, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville.
    This project will receive funding from both NIGMS and the NIH Office of the Director. It will contribute to the goal of personalized medicine by creating a computer-based system to help doctors tailor their prescriptions to the genetic profile of each patient. The project aims to improve the effectiveness and safety of drug therapies.

  • Gene Expression and Regulatory Networks in Human Leukocytes, $7.3 million.
    Christophe Benoist and Diane Mathis, Harvard Medical School, Boston

  • Advancing Drug Development from Medicinal Plants using Transcriptomics and Metabolomics, $6 million.
    Joseph Chappell, University of Kentucky, Lexington
    Dean Dellapenna, Michigan State University, East Lansing
    Sarah O'Connor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

  • The Cell: An Image Library, $2.5 million.
    Caroline Kane, American Society for Cell Biology, Bethesda, Md.

  • Fine-scale Recombination Rate Variation Within and Between Drosophila Species, $1.8 million.
    Josep Comeron, University of Iowa, Iowa City
    Corbin Jones, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Mohamed Noor, Duke University, Durham, N.C.

  • ImageJ as an Extensible Image Processing Framework, $1.8 million.
    Kevin Eliceiri, University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • Subcellular Localization of Nanoparticles, $3 million.
    Mauro Ferrari, Paolo Decuzzi and David Gorenstein, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
    Jim Klostergaard, Gabriel Lopez-Berestein, Chun Li and Anil Sood, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
    Rebekah Drezek, Jennifer West, Lon Wilson and Junghae Suh, Rice University, Houston, Texas
    Wah Chiu, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas

  • Metabolomics Network for Drug Response Phenotype, $4.5 million.
    Rima Kaddurah-Daouk, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.

  • The Arabidopsis Transcription Factor ORFeome + Downstream Genomic Application, $2 million.
    Steve Kay, University of California, San Diego
    Joseph Ecker, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, Calif.

  • Transcription Characterization of Medicinal Plants Relevant to Human Health, $2.8 million.
    Norman Lewis and Rodney Croteau, Washington State University, Pullman

  • A Multidisciplinary Approach to Elucidating Gene Function in a Model Gram-Positive Bacterium, $2 million.
    David Rudner, Harvard Medical School, Boston

  • SciBay: A New Methodology for Scientific Collaboration and Gene Function Determination, $4 million.
    Martin Steffen and Simon Kasif, Boston University School of Medicine
    Richard Roberts, New England BioLabs, Inc., Ipswich, Mass.

  • Stable Isotope Analytical Core for Studies in Human Metabolism, $0.5 million.
    Robert Wolfe, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock.
    This project will receive funding from both NIGMS and the NIH Office of the Director.

  • Innovative Supercomputing for Breakthrough Molecular Dynamics, $2.7 million.
    Joel Stiles, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh


Contact: Alisa Machalek
NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences

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