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Virginia Governor Awards $7M to Fund Genomics, Bioinformatics Research

NEW YORK, May 25 – The state of Virginia has pledged $7 million to support genomics and bioinformatics initiatives at the state’s research universities. 

Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore announced the grants Thursday as part of a total award of $18 million under the state’s Commonwealth Technology Research Fund, which Gilmore created last year to help Virginia's colleges and universities compete for federal and private research grants. 

The fund currently has $13 million in seed money designed to leverage additional funds for matching grants.

The governor pledged $2.5 million over three years to support collaborative research in bioinformatics at Virginia Tech's Department of Computer Science and the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute.

An additional $1.5 million was awarded to create the Virginia Bioinformatics Consortium, comprising researchers from George Mason University, the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Virginia Tech. The consortium will help the state’s universities work together on cutting-edge bioinformatics research and allow individual members of the group to maximize research capabilities at their respective institutions. 

Gilmore also awarded $3 million over three years to fund cancer genomics and the development of diagnostic tools and therapies at Virginia Commonwealth University, George Mason University, and Inova Health Systems. Researchers in this initiative will work closely with technological companies in Virginia. 

“Top notch research is critical in attracting high-tech companies to Virginia," Gilmore said in a statement. "These grants will help Virginia continue as a leader in the new technology-based economy by providing colleges and universities with the resources necessary to continue to succeed."   
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