HHS issues $1B in ARRA for biomedical research facilities

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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced $1 billion of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds have been awarded to construct, repair and renovate U.S. scientific research labs and related facilities.

The National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Research Resources administered the grants, which are expected to create or sustain jobs across the U.S., according to the HHS. A total of 146 grants to institutions in 44 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico were awarded to upgrade and construct buildings, laboratory spaces and core facilities for the biomedical and behavioral investigators.

Below are two examples of how institutions will use the funds to study disease areas:

  • Genome Data Center Initiative, St. Louis: The Washington University School of Medicine will use a $14.3 million award to build a world-class data center to support human genome research. Its genome center recently embarked on several projects to decode the genomics of cancer patients and their tumors. The new 15,000 square-foot data center will support the computational power and storage needs that projects like these require.
  • Cell and DNA Repository Renovation, New Brunswick, N.J.: Data sharing is expedites translation of research results into knowledge, products and procedures to improve human health. Central storage units such as the Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository help U.S. investigators share data and biological specimens. To address space shortages and infrastructural needs and to broaden its molecular biology services, the repository has been awarded $9.5 million to renovate its lab.