UCSF School of Medicine receives $3.8 Million grant for biomedical research

The UCSF School of Medicine received a grant of $3.8 million this week from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to support biomedical research. The school's plans for the grant include startup funds for new faculty and support for the study of genetic diseases.

HHMI's Biomedical Research Support Program awarded 41 similar grants, including UCSF's, to medical schools across the country in an effort to refill the funding reservoirs for medical research. Managed care and other economic changes in the health care industry during the last decade have diminished internal sources of funding, said Lloyd H. (Holly) Smith, Jr., MD, UCSF professor emeritus and associate dean of the School of Medicine.

"Even though the NIH budget has risen remarkably in the last several years under the leadership of Harold Varmus and others, the funds that had been available from clinical care dollars are no longer there because of the current stresses on the health care industry," said Smith. "The funding for the infrastructure has been lagging - for equipment, for renovations, and for startup funds needed for young investigators."

Young investigators, who face staggering funding needs in setting up a new laboratory, will be among the primary beneficiaries of this grant, said Zach Hall, PhD, UCSF Vice Chancellor for Research. "As techniques have become more and more sophisticated, the cost to set up a new investigator has grown." And, many older UCSF labs need renovation before a new researcher can set up shop. This new grant will help the School of Medicine to continue recruiting the best young scientists to its faculty, Hall said.

The grant will also support disease research, including a core group of scientists who study the epidemiology and molecular biology of genetic diseases, Hall said. Funds are also earmarked for the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center's transgenic and targeted mutagenesis core facilities, which help researchers to create mice with specific genetic

Contact: Rebecca Sladek Nowlis
University of California - San Francisco

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