HOUSTON (Jan. 21, 2009) Finding cures for hearing loss, breast cancer and childhood cancer and a way to identify people at risk for tuberculosis are goals of the first recipients of grants from the Virginia and L.E. Simmons Family Foundation Collaborative Research Fund. The fund, a $3 million initiative to discover new ways to diagnose and treat diseases, supports collaboration among researchers at Rice University, Texas Children's Hospital and The Methodist Hospital Research Institute.
Four projects chosen from 35 proposals have been awarded one-year seed grants. Ideally, organizations like the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will fund continuing research. The awards were announced today in a ceremony at The Methodist Hospital.
The Simmons family's intention is to promote novel solutions to difficult medical problems through the combined expertise of Texas Medical Center scientists, engineers and doctors who might not otherwise collaborate.
The foundation requested proposals for original, innovative work suited to a multidisciplinary approach that would involve researchers from at least two of the three institutions.
"Our family is very pleased with, first and foremost, the collaborations that are taking place among the three institutions," said L.E. Simmons of the first round of recipients.
"Second, we are really pleased with how terrific the proposals were. We are impressed with the quality and depth of the proposals. A large number of them would qualify for NIH funding in normal times.
"We are only sorry there isn't enough money there to fund more projects."
Unraveling mysteries of tuberculosis
Why does the tuberculosis germ make some people gravely ill and leave others untouched? That's what intrigues Margaret Goodell, Katherine King and Catherine Bollard of Texas Children's Hospital and Edward Graviss of The Methodist Hospital Research Institute, who received a grant of
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