LA BioMed to receive recovery act grants to advance scientific research and create jobs

December 14, 2009

LOS ANGELES (Dec. 14, 2009) - Researchers at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed) expect to receive more than $4.5 million in grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act.), including nearly $1 million from the highly competitive Challenge Grant program for a study that seeks to reduce the number of children who die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, it was announced today.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is distributing the grants to help stimulate the U.S. economy through the support and advancement of scientific research. Challenge Grants support research on the NIH priority areas. It reported receiving more than 20,000 applications for more than $200 million in fiscal 2009 Challenge Grants and awarding just 804.

One of those Challenge Grants is going to LA BioMed for a project to screen infants for a rare hereditary disorder that is a cause for sudden death in infancy and early childhood, Jervell and Lange-Nielsen syndrome.

Ruey-Kang R. Chang, MD, MPH, a pediatric cardiologist at LA BioMed, is the principal investigator.

"This award to LA BioMed will present an extraordinary chance to advance biomedical research while creating jobs in local communities and opportunities for talented young and new investigators," said Elizabeth G. Nabel, MD, and director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health, which awarded the Challenge Grant to LA BioMed. "We look forward to the outcome of this research, which will contribute to a better understanding of how we can improve the health of the American public."

Recovery Act funding also will help finance LA BioMed studies of heart and liver disease, a highly promising vaccine candidate to prevent life-threatening infections of the blood caused by the fungus Candida, cancer immune therapies for melanoma and much more.

"These grants to LA BioMed will create new jobs for the region and fund vital research," said U.S. Rep. Jane Harman, D-Venice. "LA BioMed is a leader in translating discoveries into new treatments and improved therapies for disease. My congratulations to the doctors and researchers whose innovation and hard work will help save lives."

"LA BioMed's success in obtaining these grants is further evidence of the strength of the Institute's research enterprise and the dedicated investigators we have on campus," said LA BioMed President and CEO David I. Meyer, PhD. "I congratulate each of the investigators for presenting such outstanding grant proposals that they were able to secure significant funding in such a highly competitive environment."

Following is a description of the LA BioMed grants from Recovery Act funding:
-end-
About LA BioMed

Founded in 1952, LA BioMed is one of the country's largest nonprofit independent biomedical research institutes. It conducts biomedical research, trains young scientists and provides community services, including childhood immunization and nutrition assistance. The institute's researchers conduct studies in such areas as cardiovascular disease, emerging infections, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, dermatology, reproductive health, vaccine development, respiratory disorders, inherited illnesses and neonatology. LA BioMed is academically affiliated with the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. For more information, please visit www.LABioMed.org

LA BioMed

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