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December 3,


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Currents--University of Rochester newspaper

Med Center NIH funding tops $100 million

Researchers at the Medical Center attracted more than $100 million in fiscal year 2001 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the largest funding body devoted to supporting research aimed at curing or preventing disease.

The amount of annual funding has jumped 70 percent since 1996, when the Medical Center announced a strategic plan to rejuvenate its research programs. The increase marks the first time that NIH funding to the Medical Center has topped $100 million in a single fiscal year.

Such funding primarily pays for the salaries of thousands of researchers and graduate students, and it represents one of the biggest infusions of cash into the Rochester economy each year. Rochester receives more funding from NIH than any other area of upstate New York.

"These dollars not only support the livelihood of thousands of residents in the Rochester area," says Medical Center CEO Jay Stein, "but they also mark an important step in the long effort to improve human health by preventing or treating disease more effectively."

As part of the strategic plan, the first new research facility, the Arthur Kornberg Medical Research Building, was completed two years ago, and a second research facility will be completed early next year. In total, more than 100 researchers and 500 technicians and support personnel are being hired to work in the new facilities in the largest recruitment effort at the Medical Center since the School of Medicine and Dentistry was founded in 1925.

The expansion comes at a time when the University's intellectual property is more sought-after than ever by industry. During the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2001, companies paid $29.5 million for the rights to research in the University's laboratories, more than 10 times the amount of royalties paid just two years ago. In addition, more than two dozen high-tech companies have risen from the University's basic research in the past 20 years, with four new companies created in the Rochester area since 1999.

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