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Government Funding Stimulates Northwestern Research

More than $91 million in ARRA funding creates and saves research jobs

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October 21, 2009 | by Megan Fellman
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University faculty have received significant research funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA): 179 awards from four federal agencies for approximately $91.9 million. (Final numbers for the first reporting period, ending Sept. 30, will be available at the end of October; figures are as of Oct. 9.)

The $787 billion stimulus package is intended to jump-start the economy by creating and saving jobs. Using the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and agency guidelines to calculate the numbers, Northwestern's ARRA funding created or saved more than 60 jobs through Sept. 30, reported Susan Ross, Evanston director of the Office for Sponsored Research (OSR).

Two newly created and highly competitive categories of National Institutes of Health (NIH) ARRA grants have been awarded in the million-dollar range: Challenge Grants in Health and Science Research (RC1) and Research and Research Infrastructure "Grand Opportunities," the "GO" grants program (RC2). These programs were more competitive than most, Ross said, due to a great deal of publicity about the new initiatives.

NIH Challenge Grants in Health and Science Research (RC1) support research on areas that address specific scientific and health research challenges in biomedical and behavioral research that would benefit from significant two-year jump-start funds. Northwestern faculty received eight RC1 awards. The principal investigators, their projects and awards are:

  • Guillermo Ameer, Feinberg School of Medicine and McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, "A Revolutionary Therapy for Atherosclerosis: Liquid Cast Arterial Stents." $994,105 from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
  • John D. Crispino, Feinberg School, "Identification of Altered Molecular Signature of Down Syndrome Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells." $1,012,411 from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
  • Lifang Hou, Feinberg School, "DNA Methylation Alterations in Response to Pesticide Exposures." $995,214 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
  • Phillip B. Messersmith, McCormick School/Chemistry of Life Processes Institute, "Self-Healing Composites via Novel Biomolecular Design and Processing." $1,011,631 from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
  • Richard I. Morimoto, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, "Proteostasis Sensors to Assess the Cellular Protein-Folding Capacity." $1,011,589 from the National Institute on Aging.
  • Maureen E. Smith, Feinberg School, "Center for Genetic Medicine, Impact of Data Access Policies on Biobank Participation." $751,075 from the National Human Genome Research Institute.
  • Bonnie Spring, Feinberg School, "ENGAGED: E-Networks Guiding Adherence to Goals for Exercise and Diet." $997,582 from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
  • Jing Zheng, School of Communication, "Preventing Hair Cell Loss By Regulating Prestin's Function." $952,729 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

The new GO grants (RC2) support projects that address large, specific biomedical and biobehavioral research projects that will benefit from significant two-year funds without the expectation of continued NIH funding beyond two years. The research projects supported by the GO grants program have high short-term impact and a high likelihood of enabling growth and investment in biomedical research and development, public health and health care delivery. Northwestern faculty received two RC2 awards. The principal investigators, their projects and awards are:

  • Richard Gershon, Feinberg School, "GENORM: Collection of Genotypic Data for the NIH Toolbox Norming Sample." $929,524 from the National Institute on Aging.
  • Toshio Narahashi, Feinberg School, "Mechanism of Alcohol and Nicotine Interaction." $1,011, 810 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Northwestern received ARRA grants from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and the Department of Education, in addition to the NIH. For more information about the awards and the faculty members who received them, visit the Northwestern Office for Research ARRA Web site.

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Topics: University