State medical institute snares $30M grant from feds

A statewide medical initiative involving some of Indiana’s biggest universities has received nearly $30 million to continue its work taking laboratory and clinical discoveries and translating them into treatments for patients.

The National Institutes of Health awarded the grant to the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, a partnership among Indiana University, Purdue University and University of Notre Dame. The money will help fund the institute at least through 2018.

"I regard this award as a powerful vote of confidence in the Indiana CTSI's success over the past five years, as well as a promise on our part to achieve even greater heights going into the next phase of this project,” said Dr. Anantha Shekar, director of ICTSI.

The Indiana University School of Medicine established the Institute in 2008 with a $25 million NIH grant, plus about $25 million in matching grants from IU, Purdue, the state of Indiana and public-private partners such as Eli Lilly and Co.

Since 2008, ICTSI-funded researchers at the three partner universities have advanced discoveries in areas such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, autism, traumatic brain injury, polycystic kidney disease, and osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

In addition, ICTSI estimates it supports more than 80 full-time equivalent professional jobs across Indiana.

"In 2009 alone, Indiana CTSI invested $1.1 million in scientists whose work later attracted more than $30 million in outside investment," Dr. Shekhar said. "These numbers show that our institute has become a powerful magnet to attract innovation and research dollars to Indiana.

“Our focus on partnerships with groups such as Eli Lilly and Co., Roche Diagnostics and Cook Medical Group—as well as the patents, licenses and spinoffs we've fostered—illustrate we're also playing a vital role fueling the state's economy."

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