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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 08/05/02
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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Genome Research Institute Receives $1.7 Million

Cincinnati--The University of Cincinnati Genome Research Institute (GRI) has been awarded $1.7 million from the 2001/2002 Hayes Investment Fund Competition. The grant, awarded by the Ohio Board of Regents (OBR), will be used for capital equipment at the GRI to enhance the medical programs at the facility.

The GRI, in cooperation with Wright State University (WSU), was one of nine teams of researchers, representing 18 universities and independent research facilities to receive funding. Led by David Millhorn, PhD, the GRI's mission is to employ state-of-the-art genomic, proteomic, molecular and physiological approaches to gain insight into normal cell function and human disease processes.

"With our outstanding core of UC investigators and strong relationship with Wright State University, the GRI is poised to become a world-class genomic science program," Dr. Millhorn said. "This grant brings us one step closer to achieving our goals and putting Ohio at the forefront of biotech research."

All told, the OBR awarded more than $12 million in grants, ranging from $500,000 to $2 million, to support basic research and technology creation in Ohio programs, consistent with the goals and objectives of the Ohio Plan for Technology and Economic Development. The award winners were selected from a total of 51 preliminary proposals.

"The GRI is a significant part of UC's Millennium Plan to increase research funding, expand research space, develop relationships with outside organizations and propel the university into national standing as a center for medical and academic advancement," said Donald Harrison, MD, senior vice president and provost of Health Affairs for the UC Medical Center. "Statewide, the GRI will also play an important role in the governor's Third Frontier initiative to enhance biotechnology in Ohio."

In conjunction with providing support for Ohio universities and research facilities to enhance the state's competitive position in a rapidly expanding global economy focusing on science and technology, the Hayes Investment Fund was designed to stimulate inter-university cooperation and build partnerships among university research programs and Ohio industry. "By partnering with Wright State University, investigators at the GRI will be able to establish close and meaningful collaborations with research experts studying in areas such as molecular evolution, the mechanisms of tumor formation and development or the structure and function of protein/enzymes and polynucleotides," Dr. Millhorn explained.

The GRI, being established at the former Aventis Pharmaceuticals research site in Reading, Ohio, will focus on the basic mechanism of diseases at the genetic and cellular level. Aventis contributed the research space to UC in February 2002 and renovations to the laboratories are currently underway. The labs, expected to be operational early 2003, will house research focusing on cancer biology, neuroscience, endocrinology and cardiovascular/pulmonary biology.

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