|NIH Funds Fourteen High-End Instrumentation Grants
Nearly $22 Million Will Enable the Purchase of 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 $21.5 million for 14 High-End
Instrumentation (HEI) grants that will fund cutting-edge equipment required to
advance biomedical research and increase knowledge of the underlying causes of
human disease. Awarded to research institutions around the country, the one-time
grants support the purchase of sophisticated instruments costing more than $750,000.
“The High-End Instrumentation program provides numerous investigators access
to essential equipment, often benefiting entire research communities and dramatically
advancing their research projects,” said Barbara M. Alving, M.D., Acting Director
of NCRR. “These awards spur the kind of scientific discoveries necessary for
the development of treatments for a broad spectrum of diseases.”
Three or more NIH-funded investigators whose research requires the instrument
must be identified in advance by the institution. Matching funds are not required
for HEI grants, which provide a maximum of $2 million. 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.
High-end instruments supported in this round of funding include two supercomputers
that rapidly process vast quantities of data, including one at the University
of Washington that will enable protein chemistry studies related to lung and
liver diseases. In addition, two awards will fund the purchase of nuclear mass
resonance (NMR) spectrometers, designed to determine three-dimensional structures
of large proteins and protein complexes. For example, the University of California
will use its NMR spectrometer to study protein interactions with bacteria such
as E. coli and salmonella. Meanwhile, grants will support several other types
of mass spectrometers, designed to provide very high resolution and accurate
molecular weight measurement for the study of large biopolymers and their interactions.
These include a quadrupole/trap-Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass
spectrometer (Q-FTMS) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, that will
permit the characterization of nucleic acids to advance the understanding of
infectious diseases and cancer; and a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance
(FT-ICR) mass spectrometer that will enable respiratory, neurodegenerative, and
cancer studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Also, awards will support three magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems to
facilitate the study of human diseases. For example, it will enable cancer, cardiovascular,
and metabolic disorder investigations taking place at the University of Pennsylvania.
In addition, a new positron emission tomography (PET)/single photo emission computed
tomography (SPECT)/computed tomography (CT) scanner will facilitate cancer research
at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Two cryo-electron microscopes will also
be funded, including one at Purdue University that will be used to study the
structure of viruses. Mouse imaging studies at Massachusetts General Hospital
will be advanced with the addition of a magnetic resonance (MR) microscope. Finally,
an ultra high-throughput genome sequencing system will support HIV analyses at
More information about the High-End Instrumentation program, including application
guidelines, is available at http://www.ncrr.nih.gov/biotech/btheinstr.asp.
FY 2006 High-End Instrumentation Grants:
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Boston, Mass.) $ 938,175
A positron emission
tomography (PET)/single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)/computed
tomography (CT) scanner will support cancer research.
Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, Mass.) $1,510,934
supercomputer will enable investigators to process magnetic resonance imaging
(MRI) data from neuroimaging studies of Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and schizophrenia.
Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, Mass.) $2,000,000
A 15 Tesla, ultra-high
field, horizontal magnetic resonance (MR) microscope will facilitate mouse imaging
studies of cardiac conditions, diabetes, tissue engineering, and other research
Purdue University (West Lafayette, Ind.) $2,000,000
A 300 kilovolt field emission,
cryo-electron microscope will make possible the study of complex biological assemblies,
Stanford University (Stanford, Calif.) $543,750
An ultra high-throughput genome
sequencing system that performs clonal amplification and pyrosequencing will
support microbial genome sequencing, unbiased explorations of human microbial
diversity, and HIV analyses.
University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, Calif.) $1,600,000
field emission gun electron microscope will augment structural studies of a broad
range of nanomachineries, organelles, viruses and bacterial cells by electron
cryomicroscopy (cryoEM) and tomography (ET).
University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, Calif.) $1,244,821
hybrid Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) mass spectrometer will
enable research involving neurodegenerative diseases, respiratory illnesses,
University of California, Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, Calif.) $2,000,000
800 megahertz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer will allow studies
of protein interactions with bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella.
University of Maryland, Baltimore County (Baltimore, Md.) $1,515,000
12 Tesla quadrupole/trap-Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer
(Q-FTMS) will permit the characterization of nucleic acids to advance the understanding
of infectious diseases and cancer.
University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Pa.) $2,000,000
A whole-body, 7 Tesla
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system will assist in studying neurodegenerative
and metabolic disorders, detecting cancer and monitoring treatment, and developing
novel approaches to cardiovascular disease.
University of Utah (Salt Lake City, Utah) $1,709,320
A high field-strength,
small animal, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner will enable studies of
breast cancer, carotid artery disease, and other conditions.
University of Virginia (Charlottesville, Va.) $2,000,000
A high-end, 800 megahertz,
nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer will make possible studies of biopolymers,
with a special focus on membrane proteins.
University of Washington (Seattle, Wash.) $500,000
A multi-tiered proteomic
compute (MFC) cluster for protein chemistry studies will allow the investigation
of lung injury diseases, toxicity, and drug-induced liver disease.
Yale University (New Haven, Conn.) $2,000,000
A 7 Tesla human magnetic resonance (MR) system will facilitate ultra-high resolution
studies of diabetes, epilepsy, psychiatric disease, and learning disorders.
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. With this support, scientists make biomedical discoveries, translate
these findings to animal-based studies, and then apply them to patient-oriented
research. Ultimately, these advances result in cures and treatments for both
common and rare diseases. Through 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 www.ncrr.nih.gov.
The National Institutes of Health (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. It is the primary federal
agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical
research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common
and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.