Obama issues $5B in ARRA grants to NIH

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Image source: www.whitehouse.gov

In a Wednesday visit to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus in Bethesda, Md., President Barack Obama announced $5 billion in grant awards under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) to fund medical research in every state.

The more than 12,000 grant awards are expected to create tens of thousands of jobs over the next two years and are part of an overall $100 billion ARRA investment in science and technology, according to the White House. This endowment is roughly equal to one-sixth of the annual NIH budget and one half of NIH’s ARRA funds.

"We know that this kind of investment will also lead to new jobs: tens of thousands of jobs conducting research, manufacturing and supplying medical equipment and building and modernizing laboratories and research facilities," Obama said.

The grant awards will support medical research from basic research to clinical and translational studies. The ARRA-funded NIH grants are in several areas including heart disease, autism, HIV-AIDS, H1N1 Flu and cancer.

More than $1 billion of the grant funding is dedicated to research applying technology produced by the Human Genome Project between 1990 and 2003, the White House reported. The new funding will pursue studies in genomic changes linked to cancer, heart, lung and blood disease and autism.

The investment also includes $175 million for the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) to collect more than 20,000 tissue samples from more than 20 cancers, and determine in detail the genetic changes in thousands of these tumor samples. The TCGA currently involves more than 150 scientists at dozens of institutions in the U.S.