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Tulane Wins $11M Grant for Cancer Genetics Mentorship

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Tulane University has received $11.1 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health to support development of young cancer genetics researchers through a career-development program.

The funding to pay for new researchers through a mentorship program came from one $10.5 million Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant and a roughly $600,000 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act supplemental grant.

The COBRE grant extends a similar $10 million, five-year grant from 2004 that was used to start the program, which is affiliated with the Tulane Cancer Center and the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium (LCRC). The ARRA supplemental grant will be used to add four new mentors and another junior faculty member to the program.

The center supports research projects for five junior faculty members and matches them with senior scientists in cancer genetics that serve as mentors and guides through the research and in helping them develop their careers. The center aims to increase the pool of research scientists involved in cancer genetics in New Orleans by helping to bring junior researchers to the point where they can land their own major funding from NIH and other programs.

"Scientists not only have to rely on and master more sophisticated equipment just to do their research, but they also must be equally adept at navigating the complex world of grant writing," Tulane Cancer Center Director Prescott Deininger said in a statement. "We have to teach the next generation of cancer researchers the tricks of the trade and what it takes to get grant funding to continue their research."

Tulane expects that several of the COBRE mentors and junior faculty will eventually move to a new LCRC facility under construction in New Orleans that is scheduled to open in 2011. That 10-story building will house labs for researchers from Tulane, Louisiana State University, and Xavier University.

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