News Release

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

NIH Awards Nearly $21 Million to Fund Cutting-Edge Research Equipment

The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced today it will provide $20.65 million for 14 High-End Instrumentation (HEI) grants that will fund cutting-edge equipment required to advance biomedical research. Awarded to research institutions around the country, the one-time grants support the purchase of sophisticated instruments costing more than $750,000.

“These high-performance imaging instruments and other advanced technologies enable both basic discoveries that shed light on the underlying causes of disease and the development of novel therapies to treat them,” said Barbara Alving, M.D., NCRR Director. “The value of this investment in advanced equipment is greatly leveraged because each of these rare tools is used by a number of investigators, advancing a broad range of research projects.”

The 14 awards in this round of funding will enable the purchase of a variety of sophisticated instrumentation at institutions nationwide. For example, Nashville’s Vanderbilt University will acquire a 7 Tesla human magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy system, which provides the highest magnetic imaging available for humans and is one of only several such instruments in the country. With its award, the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio will obtain a high-field 9.4 Tesla MRI scanner capable of performing such demanding studies as functional brain and cardiac imaging in a variety of animal species.

Meanwhile, the purchase of several 3 Tesla MRI scanners will be used to develop minimally invasive therapies at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston; and for psychiatric applications at the Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research in Orangeburg, N.Y. In addition, nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers will be supported to probe intermolecular interactions at Burnham Institute for Medical Research in La Jolla, Calif.; and to research protein structure, function, and folding at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and Dentistry in Farmington. Three high-performance, hybrid linear ion trap-Fourier transform mass spectrometers will be funded. One will be located at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., to benefit researchers investigating ischemia and hypoxia, among other projects; another at the University of Arizona at Tucson will enable structural studies of proteins; and the third at the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center will facilitate cancer research and other studies. Also, a pulsed electron paramagnetic resonance/X-band electron nuclear double resonance spectrometer will be purchased by the University of Washington in Seattle, to study the function of enzymes, structural proteins, and proteins at DNA and RNA interfaces.

Another award will support the University of California, San Diego, in its purchase of a high-performance, intermediate voltage transmission electron microscope to enable 3-D imaging of sections of cells and biological tissues. Also funded is a confocal imaging system at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute in Baltimore, to enable the study of calcium signaling in living cells, as well as investigations involving neuronal and brain slice imaging.

At the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, positron emission tomography tracer development and production equipment will be purchased to facilitate research involving cancer, neuroscience, cardiovascular, and regenerative medicine. Finally, new state-of-the-art DNA sequencing instrumentation will be acquired by Yale University in New Haven, Conn., to assist investigations involving epilepsy, psychiatric disorders, autism, cardiovascular disorders, and cancer.

For more details on the High-End Awards, please visit:

In order to qualify for a HEI award, institutions must identify three or more NIH-funded investigators whose research requires the requested instrument. Matching funds are not required for these grants, which provide a maximum of $2 million each. However, institutions are expected to provide an appropriate level of support for associated infrastructure, such as building alterations or renovations, technical personnel, and post-award service contracts for instrument maintenance and operation.

More information about the High-End Instrumentation program, including application guidelines, is available at:

NCRR provides laboratory scientists and clinical researchers with the environments and tools they need to understand, detect, treat, and prevent a wide range of diseases. Central to this effort, NCRR leads the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program — a national consortium of academic health centers that will transform the conduct of clinical and translational research to ensure that biomedical discoveries are rapidly translated into prevention strategies and clinical treatments for rare and common diseases. With NCRR support, scientists make biomedical discoveries, translate these findings to animal-based studies, and then apply them to patient-oriented research. Through the CTSA consortium and other collaborations and networks, NCRR connects researchers with one another, and with patients and communities across the nation. These connections bring together innovative research teams and the power of shared resources, multiplying the opportunities to improve human health. For more information, visit

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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