Funds will be focused on metabolomics and cytomics, emerging fields that are bringing an explosion of genetic information to bear on scientists' understanding of metabolism and the inner workings of cells. The new Indiana Metabolomics and Cytomics (METACyt) Initiative will build on the foundation of genomic and proteomic research already taking place at IUB and complements the 2001 Indiana Genomics Initiative at IU, also funded by the Lilly Endowment. As life scientists get closer to putting human genome information to use, metabolomics and cytomics research promises to answer key questions about cancer and other diseases, leading to faster diagnoses and more effective treatments.
"IU is poised to establish international intellectual leadership in these new areas of life sciences research," Herbert said. "We at IU are deeply grateful to the Lilly Endowment for recognizing the quality of our life sciences research program and investing in its bold expansion."
Lilly Endowment Vice President for Education Sara B. Cobb said, "This forward-looking initiative will significantly advance Lilly Endowment's efforts to build the intellectual capital in our state, which we believe is so vital to the future prosperity of Indiana."
The Indiana METACyt Initiative will support technology transfer derived from basic research and encourage the founding of new businesses based on initiative discoveries. Working with the IU Research & Technology Corporation, IUB life scientists will be able to bring useful laboratory discoveries to the Indiana private sector.