The University of Maryland School of Medicine has received $12.3 million in National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants to renovate research laboratories of the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center and to build core facilities - centralized areas of technology and expertise - that will provide key support services to cancer researchers. The funds are part of $1 billion in funding made available by the federal government through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for construction or renovation of research facilities.
The NIH's National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) has awarded a $5 million C06 construction grant to renovate laboratories on the eighth floor of the School of Medicine's Bressler Research Building at 655 W. Baltimore St. Another $7.3 million G20 Core Renovation, Repair and Improvement grant will be used to consolidate existing core laboratories and build new facilities on the sixth and seventh floors of the Bressler Building.
These new core laboratories will provide "shared services" to cancer researchers and other scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and other professional schools at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Many of these support services benefit the cancer center, which is part of the School of Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical Center.
"These NCRR grants will enable us to build new, modern laboratory facilities for our researchers that hopefully will pave the way for major breakthroughs in cancer research. We are continually expanding our research program, and constructing state-of-the-art laboratories is critical to that effort," says Kevin J. Cullen, MD, director of the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center and professor of medicine and director of the Program in Oncology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, acting president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, says, "Our cancer center has been recognized by the National Cancer Institute for its scientific excellence, and our faculty members conduct some of the most innovative and promising cancer research in the nation. These new laboratories will not only facilitate this work but also will help us to recruit more top-tier scientists to our cancer center."
The newly renovated space will be used by individual molecular and structural biology researchers and will also house core labs for confocal microscopy, proteomics, flow cytometry, tissue-culturing and tissue-related services such as histology and immunohistochemistry, as well as the Genomics Core Facility, which provides cutting-edge genomic support for researchers.
"By consolidating core resources in common space, we will be able to support research in the same way that our clinicians take a multidisciplinary approach to caring for new patients," explains Nicholas Ambulos, PhD, director of the Genomics Core Facility and associate professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
The renovation on the eighth floor of the Bressler Building is scheduled to begin in November and will be completed in August 2011. The construction on the sixth and seven floors will begin upon completion of the eighth floor renovations and be finished by August 2012.
The University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center, which was named a National Cancer Institute-designated center in 2008, has more than 200 physicians and researchers and total research funding of nearly $55 million. It also offers a full range of treatments for all types of cancer and is listed as one of U.S. News & World Report's top 50 cancer centers.