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BAARC celebrates 20 years of progress

In the past two decades, the Bob Allison Ataxia Research Center (BAARC) has raised nearly $8 million to advance research into ataxia and other neurodegenerative and neuromuscular diseases at the University of Minnesota. That’s a cause for celebration.

So on April 4, a group of dedicated BAARC board members and volunteers toured the University’s Winston and Maxine Wallin Medical Biosciences Building and saw for the first time a new sign recognizing their commitment. The Wallin Medical Biosciences Building is a hub for ataxia research on campus, though investigators from across the University collaborate on the work.

When BAARC board members designated their first $125,000 in awards to fund small start-up or core research at the University in 1993, they hoped that the money would attract larger, sustained outside grant support, primarily from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). That initial investment paid off in a big way, attracting $3.8 million in NIH funding over the next five years.

Today the momentum continues to grow. In the organization’s history, start-up grant funding it has allocated to University researchers has helped to draw in nearly $30 million in NIH funding to date.

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