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Dana-Farber Gets $10M for Molecular Imaging Center

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute will use a $10 million grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center to support development of its Molecular Cancer Imaging Facility in South Boston, Mass.

The facility will focus on developing molecular imaging probes and will complement and expand other Dana-Farber cancer therapeutic enterprises in the South Boston area, including the Center for Biomedical Imaging in Oncology, which houses the Lurie Family Imaging Center, the Center for Novel Experimental Therapeutics, and the Profile cancer genomics project. It aims to develop technologies that help physicians diagnose and characterize cancer, select personalized therapies, and monitor the treatment process.

The $10 million grant announced today was awarded under the state's Life Sciences Initiative, a $10-year, $1 billion program that was funded by the state in 2008 and is run by the quasi-public MLSC.

MLSC said that Dana-Farber has committed to making the facility available for use by small businesses that are conducting research within the state.

"Molecular imaging holds tremendous promise for accelerating drug discovery by allowing more rapid assessment of drug efficacy in preclinical and clinical settings," Barrett Rollins, Dana-Farber's chief scientific officer, said in a statement. "Moreover, molecular imaging will play a key role in the delivery of personalized medicine, by allowing clinicians to determine whether specific drugs are effective in days instead of months."

MLSC expects that when the center is operating it will have a staff of 15.