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Messages from the Executive Vice President

August 18, 2010

UConn Health Center Breaks Record in New Grant Awards

With the close of the last fiscal year, the Health Center crossed a significant threshold in our history. For the first time, we received more than $100 million in extramural research funding, from sources including the federal government, primarily the NIH, as well as private and state sources. In fact, the grand total in research support for was $101,908,000.

Please join us in congratulating all who made this milestone a reality.

As mentioned, the largest source of funding came from the NIH which was invigorated during this time by stimulus funding from the Obama administration. In particular, the Health Center received a $7.9 million federal grant to renovate, modernize, and improve the Center for Comparative Medicine. The 15,480 square foot renovation in one of our original research buildings will help support the projects of 136 scientists.

Also, Dr. Leslie Loew, director of the Richard D. Berlin Center for Cell Analysis and Modeling (CCAM), received more than a million dollars in federal funding this year. CCAM is developing new approaches to determine how cells work, interact, and respond - and how to organize this data so it can be applied to human health.

In addition, in just her second year at the Health Center, Dr. Lakshmi S. Nair was awarded two Army grants worth more than $750,000 to study ways to stimulate re-growth of musculoskeletal tissue, as well as one National Science Foundation grant and was named co-PI on a new RO1.

Among state research funding, the state of Connecticut awarded a $577,810 grant to the Stem Cell Core Laboratory run by Dr. Ren-He Xu. The money will allow the core to continue its work, which includes training scientists and creating lines of human embryonic stem cells, the raw material for the research.

Lastly, a philanthropic highlight of the year was the inaugural White Coat Gala which was attended by nearly 500 people and raised more than $350,000 for clinician-scientists across the Health Center. Title sponsorship for the gala was generously provided by Aetna and Carole and Ray Neag. Plans are already underway for the 2011 White Coat Gala. For more information about the gala or other fund raising opportunities, please contact Dina Plapler at ext. 8077.

Crossing the $100 million threshold together with the addition of the new Cell and Genome Sciences Building and the successful recruitment of new researchers, illustrates the strength and momentum recently gained by our research enterprise. It is something we can all take great pride in.


Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D.
Vice President for Health Affairs
Dean, UConn School of Medicine

Marc Lalande, Ph.D.
Senior Associate Dean, Research, Planning and Coordination