A Medical Device Daily
The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), both part of the National Institutes of Health, reported grants expected to total about $45 million to establish new Centers of Excellence in Genomic Science at the Medical College of Wisconsin (Milwaukee) and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill as well as to continue support of existing centers at Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore) and the University of Southern California (Los Angeles).
The Centers of Excellence in Genomic Science program, begun in 2001 by NHGRI, assembles interdisciplinary teams dedicated to making critical advances in genomic research. The new center at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee will receive about $8 million over three years and the new center at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill will receive about $8.6 million over five years. The existing center at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles will receive about $12 million over five years and the existing center at Johns Hopkins University will receive about $16.8 million over five years.
NHGRI will provide funding to all four centers. The first two years of the University of North Carolina center will be funded by NIMH, which will contribute about $6 million through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In addition, NIMH will also provide about $1.7 million, in non-Recovery funds, of the total funding awarded to the Johns Hopkins center.
"Our aim is to foster the formation of innovative research teams that will develop genomic tools and technologies that help to advance human health," said Alan Guttmacher, MD, NHGRI's acting director. "Each of these centers is in a position to tackle some of the most challenging questions facing biology today."
FDA awards grants for pediatric devices
The FDA awarded three grants to stimulate the development and availability of medical devices for children.
A panel of six experts with experience in medicine, business, and device development reviewed 16 applications for the grants, which will be administered by the FDA's Office of Orphan Products Development. The recipients and grant amounts include:
James Geiger, MD, and the Michigan Pediatric Device Consortium, $1 million
Pedro DelNido, MD, and the Pediatric Cardiovascular Device Consortium, $500,000
Michael Harrison, MD, and the University of California at San Francisco Pediatric Device Consortium, $500,000.
Development of medical devices for children lags up to a decade behind similar devices intended for use in adults. Children differ in terms of size, growth and body chemistry and present unique challenges to device designers. In addition, the activity level and ability to manage some implantable or long-term devices may vary greatly among children.
"Congress provided the FDA with this funding so that we could help connect innovators and their ideas with experienced professionals who assist them through development" said Timothy Cote, director of the FDA's Office of Orphan Product Development. "These grants will strengthen public health by spurring the development of medical devices that safely and effectively meet the special and unique needs of our children."