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Stimulus grant of nearly $9 million to UC San Diego funds big study of young brains
Date:10/15/2009

Thanks to a grant of $8,950,590 provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), researchers at the University of California San Diego looking for the biological bases of differences in human behavior will use sophisticated gene-mapping tools and imaging technology to collect a wealth of data about brain development in children.

The grant was awarded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The study, called PING (for pediatric imaging, neurocognition and genetics), represents one of NIDA's signature projects. The UC San Diego-based project, which involves 10 sites throughout the country, is expected to create approximately 25 new jobs.

The project will be coordinated within UC San Diego's Center for Human Development (CHD), and the advanced neuroimaging work of the project will be based in the MultiModal Imaging Laboratory. Faculty from at least seven different UC San Diego departments will participate in the project, a testament to the growth and importance of interdisciplinary research, according to Vice Chancellor for Research Arthur B. Ellis.

"This very significant award one of the largest single ARRA awards that UC San Diego has received to date recognizes the vital, life-saving research being conducted at the CHD, an interdisciplinary Organized Research Unit -- and makes possible swift advances in the pediatric brain-imaging and genomics projects so important to families in California and across America," Ellis said.

UC San Diego professors Terry Jernigan and Anders Dale are the project's leaders; professors Linda Chang and Thomas Ernst at the University of Hawaii, and Sarah Murray of Scripps Genomics lead other components of the project.

Jernigan, professor of cognitive science and director of the CHD, said the award will advance key pediatric research projects. "One might say that PING is a study of the genetic and neural fac
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Contact: Paul K. Mueller
pkmueller@ucsd.edu
858-534-8564
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert  

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Stimulus grant of nearly $9 million to UC San Diego funds big study of young brains
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