A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health, is awarding a total of $6.8 million for the first year of funding to three new research centers called DISCOVER (Disease Investigation Through Specialized Clinically-Oriented Ventures in Environmental Research). The new DISCOVER centers are expected to bridge the gap between basic research and clinical treatment of diseases caused by environmental factors.

“The DISCOVER centers will help to define the role of environmental agents in the initiation and progression of human disease and develop new ways to both prevent and treat disease,” said Dennis Lang, PhD, interim director, NIEHS Division of Extramural Research and Training, as he announced the new awards. “The potential impact of the research that these three centers will be conducting is enormous.”

The NIEHS launched the DISCOVER program in January 2006 when the initial grant opportunities were announced. The centers reflect an integrated research approach expected to advance understanding of how the environment interacts with biological processes to either preserve health or cause disease by bringing together laboratory research and population based studies.

“The research being supported through this program is unique in that each DISCOVER center will support projects that will be patient-or clinically oriented, while also looking at the mechanisms of how certain environmental factors influence disease etiology, pathogenesis, susceptibility, progression, and prognosis,” said David Balshaw, PhD, one of the scientists at NIEHS who helped develop the program.

Balshaw said the new centers reflect the commitment of NIEHS to children’s health research. “Two of the DISCOVER centers are direct extensions of previously funded Centers for Children’s Environmental Health. The DISCOVER centers will focus their efforts on understanding the clinical impact of environmental exposures in children and extending that research to improve diagnosis and clinical intervention. We believe this work will also inform public policy and community education aimed at reducing the burden of children’s asthma,” Balshaw said.

The three new centers are: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (Baltimore); Columbia University School of Public Health (New York); and University of Washington (Seattle).

In contract news: Reflect Scientific (Orem, Utah) said Image Labs International, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reflect, has been awarded a contract totaling more than $500,000 to provide the company’s mobile imaging systems to a major customer.

The systems were scheduled to ship in 4Q07.

“The mobile imaging systems are being sold under our Key Customer Program which provides added value to customers that request other services in addition to the equipment,” said Brian Smithgall, managing director, Image Labs International.

No Comments