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UNC Chapel Hill Directs $245 Million to Genome, Proteome Research

NEW YORK, Feb 26 - The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has earmarked $245 million from public and private sources to create a genomics research program, officials at the school said.

The money, to be paid out over 10 years, will go toward building new laboratories and research facilities, hiring new faculty, and creating a proteomics research center. A $25 million anonymous donation will pay for the proteomics center, while state education bond money, grants, and budget proceeds will foot the rest of the bill.

"We aim to do our part in leading this breathtaking revolution spurred by DNA and the book of life," UNC Chapel Hill Chancellor James Moeser said in a statement. "Carolina will be a driving force in determining how the genomics revolution will change the way in which we treat human diseases, design drugs and grow crops."

To help pay for four new science and medical research buildings, including a bioinformatics building, UNC will spend $137 million of bond proceeds approved by voters last fall. Fifty million dollars in campus funds will pay the salaries and start-up costs for 40 new faculty members. 

In July of 2000, UNC hired Terry Magnuson, a mammalian geneticist formerly at Case Western Reserve University, to chair the genetics department of the UNC School of Medicine. Since then, Magnuson has hired seven assistant professors from other universities, and set up the campus-wide genomics program, called the Carolina Center for Genome Sciences.

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