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New research building opens doors

Karen Hsiao Ashe, M.D., Ph.D., Harry Orr, Ph.D., and Frank Cerra, M.D. The Medical Biosciences Building — a new home for 210 University of Minnesota researchers focused on Alzheimer’s disease, neurodegenerative and neuromuscular diseases, and the immune system— opened its doors December 1.

The $79.3 million, 115,000-square-foot building is part of the University’s Biomedical Discovery District, the result of a $292 million funding program approved by the state of Minnesota in 2008.

The Medical Biosciences Building is meant to bring together brain researchers in a state-of-the-art physical space to foster collaboration on new treatments and cures for some of today’s most devastating health conditions.

Stimulating brain research

Academic Health Center scientists, physicians, and research centers have attracted $46 million in stimulus grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 since it was approved in February of that year.

The grants, distributed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), are designed to stimulate medical research across the country.

They’re also meant to stimulate the economy and create jobs. According to the NIH, every $1 of research funding translates to more than $2 in the economy — through supply purchases, staff hires, and other research expenses.

These stimulus grants target projects that promise results within two years, and they provide support for ongoing research. Brain researchers Harry Orr, Ph.D., and Karen Hsiao Ashe, M.D., Ph.D., among others, have received grants through this program.

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