Research in health and biomedicine is getting a boost through fundings and grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The grants will not only promote research, it will also contribute to the economic recovery by providing jobs for researchers and scientists as well as technical and support staff. Some of these grants are listed below.
HHS Announces Plans to Make $80 Million Available to Support Health IT Workforce
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) makes $80 million available to provide research grants that would develop and strengthen the health information technology workforce. The grants would include programs in community colleges, curriculum development and other programs. The funding plans are part of the ARRA. According to Dr. David Blumenthal, HHS’ National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
“Ensuring the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs), information exchange among health care providers and public health authorities, and redesign of workflows within health care settings all depend on having a qualified pool of workers. The expansion of a highly skilled workforce developed through these programs will help health care providers and hospitals implement and maintain EHRs and use them to strengthen delivery of care.”
NIH Awards $20.4 Million for Biomedical Research in Rhode Island and South Carolina
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) allocates $20.4 million for biomedical research in institutes in the states of South Carolina and Rhode Island. The two new Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) awards were awarded to Rhode Island Hospital and Clemson University. The program “supports multidisciplinary centers that concentrate on one core area of research in order to strengthen biomedical faculty research capability and enhance research infrastructure.” The research will focus on regenerative medicine and stem cell biology.
NIGMS Invests in Scientific Grand Opportunities with Recovery Act Funds
The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), which is also a part of the NIH is also using funds as part of the ARRA to invest in research. The $42.3 million worth of research grants is part of the Grand Opportunities (GO) which, according to the Dr. NIGMS Director Dr. Jeremy M. Berg
“…fund projects that promise to have a significant impact on a field of biomedical science over two years. By closing specific knowledge gaps, creating new technologies, or building community-wide resources, these awards will dramatically propel progress in key scientific fields with a one-time investment.”
Recovery Funds Advance Alzheimer’s Disease Research
Another field of research benefiting from the ARRA is Alzheimer’s disease research. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) will be awarding grants in promising areas in the field, such as “new and ongoing studies to identify additional risk factor genes associated with Alzheimer’s, improve diagnostic tools, find biomarkers, develop therapies, conduct clinical trials and explore preventive measures.”