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U receives $7.9M NIH grant to expand neuroscience imaging research

Kamil Ugurbil, Ph.D.

The Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) received a $7.9 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) award that will open the center’s powerful imaging technology to more University neuroscience researchers.

The University was one of four institutions nationwide to receive the NIH Blueprint Grant for Neuroscience Research, and its application received the highest score of the 40 institutions that applied for the grant.

“This grant is a result of all our work on brain sciences at the CMRR,” says Kamil Ugurbil, Ph.D., director of the CMRR and McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in the Medical School. “Now we will be able to expand this work even further.”

CMRR, an interdisciplinary research lab-oratory, houses state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance spectroscopy equipment for use in probing brain structure, chemistry, and function. The $7.9 million award (approximately $1.5 million each year for five years) will enable more University researchers to have access to CMRR’s highly specialized equipment and methodologies.

$1.5 million to research stem cell treatments for heart disease

The University is one of five institutions across the country to receive $1.5 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to research stem cell treatments for heart disease.

The grant will allow the University to collaborate with several other local medical institutions to create the Minnesota Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Clinical Research Network. MnCTN and the four other NIH-designated centers will form a national network to conduct clinical trials of new cell therapies for treating such conditions as heart attack and heart failure.

“Through this grant we will have the opportunity to conduct groundbreaking research that will influence research both nationally and internationally,” says Doris Taylor, Ph.D., professor of physiology and medicine, the Bakken Chair in Cardiovascular Repair, and director of the Medical School’s Center for Cardiovascular Repair—a partner in MnCTN.

Also participating in MnCTN are the University’s Division of Cardiology and the Molecular and Cellular Therapeutics Lab, the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Hennepin County Medical Center, and the Veterans Administration Medical Center.

MnCTN has proposed researching the use of bone marrow-derived cells to initiate cardiac repair after a heart attack and treating patients who have experienced heart failure with stem cells from their own bodies rather than from donated adult stem cells.

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