The University of Cincinnati Genome Research Institute (GRI), in cooperation with Wright State University, Children's Hospital Research Foundation in Cincinnati, Procter and Gamble Pharmaceuticals, Acero Inc., and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, has been awarded $9 million from the Biomedical Research and Technology Transfer Commission's (BRTTC) Partnership Award program. The partnership will be led by David Millhorn, Ph.D., director of the GRI.
The award will be used to develop a comprehensive biomedical research and biotechnology center in Southwest Ohio, building upon the strengths of the individual partners. Funds from this award will be used for equipment, personnel and operating supplies for the study of cancer biology, neuroscience, endocrinology and cardiovascular/pulmonary biology.
"The collaborations that will be promoted by this award will allow the partnering institutions to address and solve critical questions that would be beyond the capabilities of the individual partners," says Robert Fyffe, Ph.D., director of the Center of Brain Research and associate dean for research affairs for the School of Medicine. "These efforts will enhance genomic research and bioinformatics programs at Wright State and strengthen our ability to be competitive for other awards."
A hallmark of projects funded by the BRTTC, a commission created specifically to allocate funds received from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement in the field of biomedical research and technology in Ohio, is the extensive collaboration between educational institutions as well as research institutions in the private sector.
"For the GRI to become a leader in the field of biomedical research, it is crucial that we develop the capabilities to translate our research advances into practical applications," Dr. Millhorn explains. "By partnering with other outstanding research institutions in both the public and private sectors, we are able to maximize the commercialization potential of our research."
The GRIP was one of three programs to receive grants from the BRTTC, which, all told, awarded $21.5 million. A total of 16 research grant proposals were submitted to the BRTTC. Each proposal went through a comprehensive peer review and evaluation process and the three believed to offer the greatest benefit to the people of Ohio were chosen to receive funding.
Development of biomedical research and technology in Ohio is a key component of Governor Robert Taft's Third Frontier Project, a $1.6 billion, 10-year plan to establish Ohio as a national leader in biotechnology research. "The Third Frontier Project is an important program for Ohio," Dr. Millhorn says. "It not only improves Ohio's economy by creating the capacity to add high-paying jobs and attractive business opportunities, it enables institutions such as the GRI to compete more effectively for federal and private funding for continued technological development."