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NIH Awards $67M in EUREKA Grants

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institutes of Health has granted $67.4 million in funding for trailblazing research that could reap great benefits but which are not guaranteeing immediate results, including genomics and proteomics studies, NIH said Monday.

The Exceptional, Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration (EUREKA) program grants $200,000 per year for up to four years for researchers that test unconventional ideas or "tackle major methodological or technical challenges," according to NIH. Of the 56 grants, 10 researchers will receive a total of $10.6 million for two-year awards through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

"EUREKA awards reflect NIH's continued commitment to funding transformative research, even if it carries more than the usual degree of scientific risk," NIH Director Francis Collins said in a statement. "The grants seek to elicit those 'eureka moments' when scientists make major theoretical or technical advances."

"The research supported by EUREKA could provide us with new concepts, tools and approaches that have a profound impact on our understanding of biology — from fundamental life processes to human diseases and behavior," said Jeremy Berg, Director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, which led development of the program.

The grants include support for a study at Arizona State University, Tempe, titled "Working Backwards from the Proteome"; development for a genome-wide RNAi screening platform for the common lab at Scripps Research Institute; a study at the University of Miami of the genome, transcriptome, and proteome interaction in the human cortex, or the human 'brainome'; and a study of single-cell functional genomics at Yeshiva University, among others.

The EUREKA program was developed with collaboration from the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the National Library of Medicine.

More information regarding the grants can be found here.

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