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Washington State Life Sciences Discovery Fund Awards $5.1M to Six Applied Research Projects

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Washington State's Life Sciences Discovery Fund said this week that it has awarded six grants worth a combined $5.1 million to state life sciences organizations and their partners.

The LSDF board of trustees selected awardees from 61 proposals that were evaluated by national experts convened by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Each proposal was rated on its scientific merit and its potential to improve health and health care in Washington and provide statewide economic returns.

Although the grants do not have a technology-commercialization stipulation attached to them, they are intended to support more applied research projects with an end goal of providing an economic return to the state of Washington in the form of biotechnology goods, services, companies, and jobs.

The LSDF was established by the state in May 2005. Funding for the awards comes from Washington’s approximately $495 million allocation of bonus payments under the Master Tobacco Settlement, revenues arising from multi-state litigation with tobacco product manufacturers.

This group of awardees is the fifth to be funded by LSDF through the tobacco settlement mechanism. The fund is authorized to distribute up to $350 million over 10 years.

The latest LSDF awardees, award amounts, and project titles are:

• Norman Karin, Battelle, Pacific Northwest Division, $1,022,867. Project Title: A Cost-Effective Hydrogel-Growth Factor Complex to Improve Bone Healing

• Daniel Leotta, University of Washington, $509,051. Project Title: Imaging Oximetry of Peripheral Ischemia for Identification of Amputation Level

• Andre Lieber, University of Washington, $202,759. Project Title: Peptides that Increase the Efficacy of Monoclonal Antibody Therapy of Cancer

• Daniel Martin, Institute for Systems Biology, $791,767. Project Title: High-Throughput Generation of Monoclonal Anti-Peptide Antibodies for High Sensitivity Targeted MS Analysis of Biomarker Candidates

• Tomikazu Sasaki, University of Washington, $1,451,193. Project Title: Development of Artemisinin Compounds for Cancer Treatment

• Diter von Wettstein, Washington State University, $1,099,998. Project Title: Wheat for Celiac Patients and Improved Disease Prevention

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