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Innovative seed grant program to fund collaborative biomedical research for 10 years

Innovative seed grant program to fund collaborative biomedical research for 10 years

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HOUSTON – (March 27, 2019) – The Houston-based John S. Dunn Foundation in stepping up to provide a decade of innovation funding that will allow Texas Medical Center (TMC) researchers to pursue ambitious projects that improve lives by better understanding and treating life-threatening diseases and health conditions.

The Gulf Coast Consortia (GCC), a Houston organization whose members include many of the TMC’s leading research institutions, today announced the John S. Dunn Collaborative Research Award Program, a 10-year effort to provide seed grants for innovative research that accelerates basic and translational discoveries in the quantitative biomedical sciences in the Houston-Galveston area.

The program, which will be administered by GCC, will provide three seed grants of up to $100,000 per year for exploratory, high-risk projects that have the potential to improve healthcare outcomes and attract additional research dollars. The Dunn grants are restricted to collaborations between researchers from GCC member institutions who have not previously worked together. GCC members include Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University, University of Houston, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Institute of Biosciences and Technology of the Texas A&M Health Science Center and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The new program builds upon an earlier, 10-year effort launched by the foundation and GCC in 2009 that awarded $3,502,000 to 36 research teams, representing 78 faculty across all seven GCC member institutions. The newly formed teams collaborated on research in a variety of biomedical health areas including aging and longevity, Alzheimer’s disease, antimicrobial resistance, brain injuries and diseases, cancer detection, treatment and therapeutics, gene therapy, gut microbiome health, hearing loss, heart defects and disease, life-threatening gastroenteritis, and wound healing. Faculty participating in this research through 2018 have subsequently garnered 62 competitively funded research grants totaling $42.5 million, a 13-fold increase over the initial Dunn funding.

The Dunn Foundation is a longtime supporter of collaborative research through the GCC, which builds interdisciplinary research teams and training programs in the biomedical sciences that involve the quantitative, chemical, mathematical, engineering and physical sciences.

Gulf Coast Consortia:

Founded in 1990 and located in Rice’s BioScience Research Collaborative, GCC is a collaboration of basic and translational scientists, researchers, clinicians and students in the quantitative biomedical sciences who help advance the region’s scientific progress through participation in joint training and research programs, utilization of shared equipment and core facilities, and the exchange of scientific knowledge.

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