Keck Futures Initiative announces grant recipients

Washington -- The National Academies Keck FUTURES INITIATIVE announced today the recipients of its 2005 FUTURES grants, each in the amount of $50,000 or $75,000 to support interdisciplinary research on genomics and infectious disease. The 14 research projects that were awarded funding represent a wide range of approaches to the field, which was the subject of the third FUTURES conference, "The Genomic Revolution: Implications for Treatment and Control of Infectious Disease," held last November in Irvine, Calif.

These competitive seed grants aim to fill a critical gap between research on bold new ideas and major federal funding programs, which do not typically provide grants in areas that are considered risky or unusual. The FUTURES grants allow researchers to start developing a line of inquiry by recruiting students and postdoctoral fellows, purchasing equipment, and acquiring preliminary data all of which can position the researchers to compete for larger awards from other public and private sources.

Funded by a $40 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation in 2003, the National Academies Keck FUTURES INITIATIVE is a 15-year effort to enhance communication among researchers, funding agencies, universities, and the general public with the objective of stimulating interdisciplinary research at the most exciting frontiers. The National Academies and the W.M. Keck Foundation believe considerable scientific progress and social benefit will be achieved by providing a counterbalance to the tendency to isolate research within academic fields. The FUTURES INITIATIVE is designed to enable researchers from different disciplines to focus on new questions and entirely new research, and to encourage better communication between scientists as well as between the scientific community and the public.

The FUTURES INITIATIVE builds on three pillars of vital and sustained research: interdisciplinary encounters that counterbalance specialization and

Contact: Maureen O'Leary
The National Academies

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