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More Than $25 Million in Stimulus Grants Goes to Georgetown

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January 5, 2010 – More than $25 million in stimulus funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is going to Georgetown scientists and physicians from the Main Campus and Medical Center.

"ARRA presents an unprecedented opportunity for a one-time increase in sponsored-research funding," says Dr. Howard Federoff, executive vice president for health sciences and executive dean of the School of Medicine.

Many of the ARRA grants awarded come from the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation and  the National Institutes of Health.

Maximizing Opportunities

"GUMC researchers have devoted a significant amount of time and hard work to maximize [these opportunities]," Federoff says. "These ARRA awards significantly strengthen our world-class research and offer great potential for impacting public health."

Federoff received a $3.9 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for his research on Parkinson’s drug discovery. The grant will be dispersed over two years.

Main Campus has also reaped the rewards of stimulus funding, receiving more than 15 percent of the grants awarded to the university.

Cutting-Edge Research

"The stimulus funds are allowing faculty on the Main Campus to both continue their cutting-edge research and develop new lines of inquiry that are expanding Georgetown’s research profile, particularly in the sciences represented on the Main Campus," says Timothy Barbari, associate provost for research.

Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) researchers, alone, have submitted $140 million in grant applications leading to this most recent round of awards. There are more than 200 Georgetown grant proposals still pending.

Research Examples

• Richard Weiss, professor of chemistry in the College, received a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation for his research on how molecules self-assemble into a one-dimensional structure.

• Hongfang Liu, assistant professor of biostatistics, bioinformatics and biomathematics, received a $1.2 million grant to research biomedical knowledge retrieval and management. This research is critical to storing, retrieving and extracting knowledge and information in the biomedical domain.

• Radhakrishna Padmanabhan, professor of microbiology and immunology, received a $1.2 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease for research that focuses on understanding the biomedical mechanisms in the dengue viral life cycle.

New Positions

Though the stimulus funds allow faculty members to continue their research, they are not the only ones who benefit from the awards.

"The funds are creating new positions, primarily for post-doctoral fellows and research scientists," says Barbari, also a physics professor and graduate school dean. "But they also allow us to retain current research staff on our most productive research ventures."

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