The University of Iowa is one of 12 schools around the country to receive a grant from the National Institutes of Health for medical research. The five year grant is nearly 34-million dollars, and Doctor Gary Hunninghake says the money is for a statewide institute for what is called "Clinical and Translational Science." Hunninghake says that basically means any research involving a human subject, and also taking a finding from basic science and seeing if it works in human subjects.
Hunninghake says they’ll work with communities and health care systems across the state, look to expand research opportunities throughout the university and create an infrastructure for training programs designed to prepare more students and junior faculty for careers in clinical and translational science. Hunninghake says this is a whole new way of awarding grants for research.
Hunninghake says the Institutes for Health is phasing out all their old mechanisms of funding and are replacing them with this new mechanism. He says universities will have to have one of these mechanisms to get biomedical research grants, so it’s not supporting specific research, it just makes it possible to do research. Hunninghake says the change in funding is designed to get research into use more quickly. He says the N-I-H thought that basic observations weren’t being move rapidly enough into patients, and Hunninghake says a lot of science is fragmented, so this would help bring people together.
Hunninghake say this is an important step for research at the U-of-I. Hunninghake says they’ll be much more competitive in getting N-I-H grants, and it’s nice that they’re getting one of the first grants. The award is the second-largest research award in U-of-I history. Hunninghake says over 150 from the university and across the state worked to prepare the proposal for the grant.