Among the 91 members of the Association of Independent Research Institutes, OMRF ranks 4th for the amount of grant funding received from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
OMRF has received 19 Recovery Act grants worth a total of $16.7 million for fiscal year 2009-10. The money was distributed by the National Institutes of Health and awarded on a competitive basis.
Only three institutions received more funding: the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and the Dana-Farber Cancer Research Institute in Boston. All are substantially larger than OMRF.
“OMRF scientists distinguished themselves against extremely tough competition,” said OMRF President Stephen Prescott, M.D. “These grants were awarded to OMRF because we have some of the world’s top scientists doing cutting-edge research to understand and treat human disease.”
OMRF scientists received funding for research on a wide array of illnesses, including lupus, multiple sclerosis, blood disease and cancer. One grant will enable eight scientists to expand their research in the genetics of lupus. In another, Courtney Gray-McGuire, Ph.D., secured funding to study the genetics of sarcoidosis, a rare immune disorder. McGuire is one of 1,800 scientists nationwide receiving first-time funding through the Recovery Act.
OMRF also secured a construction grant of $7.03 million to help build out three floors of the new research tower and expand OMRF’s Clinical Immunology Research Program. The construction grant will pay for clinical and laboratory space, which will support 10 current scientists and their research teams. The grant will also fund construction of a 3,400-square-foot cryostorage facility for large collections of biological samples obtained from patients and control groups. Program head Judith James, M.D., Ph.D., received three additional Recovery Act grants.
“It’s gratifying that, in these tough economic times, OMRF can bring much-needed funding into the community,” Prescott said. “These projects will not only advance our knowledge of human disease, they’ll help create jobs and drive economic activity in our state.”
The Association of Independent Research Institutes is a nationwide association of not-for-profit research institutes. These institutions, which include OMRF and Ardmore’s Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, account for more than $1 billion each year in funded research from the National Institutes of Health and count nine Nobel laureates among their ranks.