NIH funds eleven High-End Instrumentation grants


Nearly $18 million will fund the purchase of new state-of-the-art equipment

Bethesda, Maryland -- The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced today it will provide nearly $18 million for 11 High-End Instrumentation (HEI) grants that will fund the purchase of new state-of-the-art equipment required to advance biomedical research. Awarded to research institutions around the country, the one-time grants support the acquisition of instruments that cost more than $750,000, with a maximum of $2 million each.

Instruments in this price range include structural and functional imaging systems, macromolecular nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers, high-resolution mass spectrometers, electron microscopes, and supercomputers. Imaging technology provides functional, biochemical and physiological information from intact biological systems including humans. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometers allow researchers to determine three-dimensional structures of large proteins and protein complexes, while mass spectrometers provide very high resolution and accurate molecular weight measurement for the study of large biopolymers and their interactions. Electron microscopes offer high resolution imaging of single molecules and allow investigators to perform computer reconstruction at the subnanometer scale for large and complex macromolecular assemblies. Super computers with high performance visualization hardware and parallel architectures allow for large data storage and high-speed transfer.

"Rapid technological development has led to a new generation of high-sensitivity, high-resolution instruments that are very expensive but that can greatly accelerate research into the underlying mechanisms of disease," said Barbara Alving, M.D., Acting Director of NCRR. "The faster we can place these new technologies in the hands of as many NIH investigators as possible, the more rapidly we can transfer this new knowledge to patient treatments and cures."

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. 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.

FY 2005 High-End Instrumentation Grants:

Arizona State University (Tempe, Ariz.)
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.)
Kennedy Krieger Institute, Inc. (Baltimore, Maryland)
University of California, San Diego (La Jolla, Calif.)
University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, Ohio)
University of Maryland, Baltimore (Baltimore, Maryland)
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, N.C.) (two awards)
University of Southern California (Los Angeles, Calif.)
University of Virginia (Charlottesville, Va.)
Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, Mo.)

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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