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North Dakota Funds Life Sciences Center

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – North Dakota State University said today that it will use $1.4 million in funding from a state program and additional support from Sanford Research and the RJ Lee Group to fund the creation of a new Center of Research Excellence in life sciences.

The Center for Life Sciences Research and Applications, to be located at NDSU, Fargo, will receive the $1.4 million from the North Dakota Centers of Excellence Commission. It also will receive $2.7 million in cash and in-kind contributions from non-profit Sanford Research and the RJ Lee Group.

NDSU said it expects the center's initial research efforts will include breast cancer studies and investigation into rare diseases in children. It also will focus on spurring the growth of genomics, bioinformatics, and DNA-based forensics and identification research and applications. Other aims of the center will be to use technologies and discoveries generated by NDSU and private-sector partners and to encourage growth of the life sciences industry in North Dakota.

The center and NDSU's DNA Laboratory also will work with the RJ Lee Group, a supplier of industrial forensic capabilities, to develop next-generation DNA-based identification and forensic tests and methods.

Sanford Health's Executive VP of Development and Research Ruth Krystopolski said in a statement that Sanford and NDSU "share the belief in and enthusiasm for the application of genomic information toward novel clinical trials, next-generation therapies, and cures. … This project will allow for an even greater level of integration between scientific discovery and the doctor's office, and most importantly, improve care for the patients we serve in our region."

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