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Minnesota Genomics Partnership Soliciting Requests for Research Proposals

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — The Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics, a joint research collaboration of the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic, is making up to $4 million available in awards to researchers for human health and disease studies that the institutions cannot carry out individually.

"Novel applications of recent advances in biotechnology, genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics to significant issues in human health are strongly encouraged," according to a formal Request for Research Proposals issued by the partnership.

Deadline for applications is Sept. 24, at 4 pm CT. The partnership will announce in January 2011 or earlier its winners of awards, which it said are expected to range from $200,000 up to $1 million.

Award winners, according to the partnership, will be those researchers whose projects:

• Advance the understanding of a disease or disease process, or which address an issue in disease prevention, diagnosis, or therapeutics.

• Are expected each to result in a successful NIH application, such as a PPG or large R01, within 2 years.

• Have what the partnership considers a high expectation for success.

• Outline goals that will be completed in two years.

The partnership said it prefers projects that lead to the development of a product capable of being commercialized.

"Applications in all areas related to human health and disease are eligible," the four-page request for research proposals stated.

Research grants typically account for the largest share of the partnership's funds, which shrunk in the fiscal year that started July 1 to just under $7 million, from $8 million last fiscal year, following state spending cuts.

A smaller share goes to fund equipment, software, and other infrastructure needed by researchers. Just days before the request for research proposals, the partnership announced two infrastructure awards — $1 million for zinc finger nuclease technology capable of modifying zebrafish cells for genomic studies on cancer and other diseases; and $900,000 for a mobile laboratory equipped to measure calorie consumption, body mass, and fat content.

More information about the proposals and submitting applications can be found here.

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