Emory Report
August 24, 2009
Volume 62, Number 1

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Explore summaries, highlights, stories and multimedia about Emory’s ARRA-funded initiatives, and learn more about the University’s stimulus-related projects, at www.emory.edu/home/

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August 24, 2009
Stimulus funds power research, creates jobs

By Holly Korschun

More than $10 million of the federal government’s stimulus funding is supporting at least 50 research projects so far at Emory. Besides research, other benefits include jobs, education, equipment and facilities.
Funneled through the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies, the funds are expected to advance discoveries in heart disease, cancer, neurology, organ transplantation, pulmonary diseases, addiction and epilepsy.

A $1.6 million grant supports research, led by Allan Kirk, acting professor of surgery in the School of Medicine, into post-transplant drugs tailored for children and child-friendly tests for monitoring the immune system. After an organ transplant, children have more difficulty than adults coping with side effects from the drugs to prevent rejection by the immune system.

Another project under way, backed with a $1.1 million grant and led by Christian P. Larsen, chair of surgery and chief of Emory Transplant Center, will test several molecules found on memory T cells. These cells play a role in rejecting transplanted organs and scientists are looking for ways to counter that.

With a $618,000 grant, Yue Feng, associate professor of pharmacology, heads research that focuses on how a protein regulates a gene that may reveal where lack of that becomes critical in mental retardation.

Emory has received half of all the NIH grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) awarded to Georgia academic institutions thus far. Signed into law in February, the act directs that most of the funds allocated by the stimulus bill are to be used within two years.

“Funds from the stimulus bill will have far-reaching effects,” says David Wynes, Emory’s vice president for research. “New equipment, additional postdoctoral trainees and laboratory technicians, and possible new facility space will create opportunities that we can build on in future years after this funding is no longer available.”