Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant supports immunology, structural biology programs

$2.4 million grant from Howard Hughes Medical Institute

University of Chicago receives $2.4 million grant from Howard Hughes Medical Institute to support immunology and structural biology programs

October 14, 1998

The Division of the Biological Sciences at the University of Chicago received $2.4 million from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Resource Program to support and expand programs in immunology and structural biology.

"The Howard Hughes Medical Institute continues to play a criticial role in developing and supporting research both at our institution and across the country," said Glenn D. Steele, Jr., MD, PhD, dean of the biological sciences division and the Pritzker School of Medicine and vice president for medical affairs.

"The Hughes has an uncanny ability to understand the needs of academic medical centers and to provide the infrastructure support to help us recruit faculty, build much needed core facilities, and provide flexible monies for pilot projects. We are grateful to have been among this year's group of awardees," Steele said.

The Biomedical Research Support Program aims to support U.S. medical schools in their efforts to maintain and modernize research capabilities for basic and patient-oriented research. This year, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute awarded a total of $92 million to 41 public and private medical schools. Individual awards ranged from $1.6 million to $4 million to be paid over a four-year period.

The University's award will be used to enhance the efforts of the biological sciences division in immunology and structural biology.

"We have developed a strategic vision for basic, translational, and clinical research; and immunology and structural biology are key elements in this plan," said Steele. "These funds will help us build a critical mass of faculty more quickly and to provide the types of centralized research resources needed for emerging areas of research."

The grant will be used to help fund six new junior faculty members at the assistant professor level--three in immunology and three in structural biology. In addition to supporting pilot projects, the grant will also allow for the expansion of core facilities in immunology and the establishment of shared facilties in structural biology.

"These efforts reflect the Division's commitment to provide well run, state-of-the-art research core laboratories to facilitate and enhance our investigative efforts," Steele explained. "Our previous grant under this HHMI program was very important to our efforts in neurobiology and genetics, and we believe that the new grant will have an enormous positive impact on our programs," said Steele.