News Release

Thursday, October 23, 2008

NIH Grants $55 Million in Institutional Development Awards

The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced today it will provide up to an estimated $55 million to fund five new Institutional Development Awards (IDeA) over the next five years. The awards support multidisciplinary centers — each concentrating on one general area of research — that strengthen institutional biomedical research capability and enhance research infrastructure. The IDeA program is designed to improve the competitiveness of investigators in states that historically have not received significant levels of competitive NIH research funding.

The new centers are being established at the University at Hawaii, Manoa to study reproductive biology; University of Kentucky to identify mechanisms linking the epidemic of obesity to cardiovascular disease; University of Louisville Research Foundation Inc. to study the cardiovascular causes and consequences of diabetes and obesity; University of Nebraska Medical Center to research nanomedicine, drug delivery, therapeutics, and diagnostics; and The Mind Research Network, a non-profit research organization in Albuquerque, N.M., to study the neural mechanisms of schizophrenia.

"By bridging the research funding gap in IDeA states, we are building innovative research teams, leveraging the power of shared resources, and enhancing the science and technology knowledge of the state’s workforce," said NCRR Director Barbara M. Alving, M.D. "It is through this focused and innovative approach that we are producing a pipeline of researchers who will become future leaders working to improve the health of diverse populations throughout the nation."

Through the IDeA program, NCRR supports institutions and communities in 23 states and Puerto Rico with grants that fund multiple areas of biomedical research and reach out to diverse populations. This funding enables academic health centers to:

  • Build and strengthen research capability by hiring staff and purchasing research equipment;
  • Support faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students (through research training and career development);
  • Promote collaboration among researchers with complementary backgrounds, skills and expertise; and
  • Establish core facilities needed to carry out the objectives of a multidisciplinary, collaborative program.

Each award includes a principal investigator with established credentials relevant to the center’s research theme; three to five individual research projects that share that theme and are supervised by a single junior investigator; and a development and mentoring plan that will prepare these investigators to secure competitive federal research funding.

New IDeA Centers:
For full descriptions of the following IDeA centers, visit

University of Hawaii, Manoa (Honolulu)
$10.5 million
Institute for Biogenesis Research (reproductive biology)
Principal Investigator: W. Steven Ward, M.S., Ph.D

University of Kentucky (Lexington)
$10.53 million
Center of Research in Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease
Principal Investigator: Lisa A. Cassis, Ph.D.

University of Louisville Research Foundation Inc. (Louisville, Ky.)
$11.60 million
Center of Excellence in Diabetes and Obesity Research
Principal Investigator: Aruni Bhatnagar, Ph.D., F.A.H.A.

University of Nebraska Medical Center (Omaha)
$10.66 million
Nebraska Center for Nanomedicine
Principal Investigator: Alexander Kabanov, M.S., Ph.D., D.Sc.

The Mind Research Network (Albuquerque, N.M.)
$11.64 million
Use of Multiple Neuroimaging Tools to Examine the Neural Mechanisms of Schizophrenia
Principal Investigator: John Lauriello, M.D.

For more general information about the IDeA program, visit

The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a part of NIH, provides laboratory scientists and clinical researchers with the resources and training they need to understand, detect, treat and prevent a wide range of diseases. NCRR supports all aspects of translational and clinical research, connecting researchers, patients and communities across the nation. 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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