Dana-Farber nabs $10M for molecular cancer imaging center

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The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) has awarded Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute a $10 million grant to support the expansion of its cancer imaging research program.

The MLSC grant will help fund the establishment of the Molecular Cancer Imaging Facility, a $20 million research initiative to develop new molecular imaging probes.

The expansion is projected to create more than 100 construction jobs, and 15 jobs to operate the facility. Funding for the grant comes from the state's 10-year, $1 billion Life Sciences Initiative, proposed by Governor Deval Patrick in 2007 and approved by the state legislature in 2008.

The center houses a MRI scanner, a PET/CT scanner, an advanced ultrasound imaging system and multiple optical imagers for studies that use light-emitting proteins to track disease, with which to conduct preclinical studies.

The Molecular Cancer Imaging Facility will expand on several of Dana-Farber's basic and clinical research enterprises that are focused on the development of targeted cancer therapies. This includes the Center for Biomedical Imaging in Oncology, which houses the Lurie Family Imaging Center, the Center for Novel Experimental Therapeutics and Profile, a cancer genomics research project, in partnership with Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, which seeks to accelerate the development of personalized cancer treatments.

Dana-Farber said it has committed to making the facility available for use by small businesses conducting related research in Massachusetts.