Microscopy Imaging Center (MIC) Director Douglas Taatjes, Ph.D., at right, sits in the MIC, one of five UVM laboratory-based, shared resource core facilities. (Photo: UVM Medical Communications)
A new $5.47 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine will fund the creation of the UVM Center for Biomedical Shared Resources. Larner Senior Associate Dean for Research Gordon L. Jensen, M.D., Ph.D., is principal investigator on the grant.
The new Center will integrate five of the leading UVM laboratory-based, shared resource core facilities, including the Vermont Integrative Genomics Resource, the Vermont Genetics Network, the Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting Facility, the Microscopy Imaging Center, and the Mass Spectrometry Facility. In fulfillment of UVM's land grant mission to be a resource for its community, the new center will provide services to institutions across northern New England, and support large, regional research programs. The grant will enhance long-term sustainability through efficiencies of scale, improved access, cross training of personnel, and sharing of resources.
“Our shared resource cores provide state-of-the-art research equipment and methods to UVM investigators and trainees,” said Jensen. “The funding of this Center will support continued growth in biomedical research spanning our institution and region for years to come.”
The grant will fund completion of the Center's home on the first floor of the new Firestone Medical Research Building, which will be located on the south end of the Larner College of Medicine complex, connected to the current Health Sciences Research Facility. Groundbreaking on the new building is anticipated in the spring of 2021.
The Center will be an important asset to UVM's continuing research success. In an increasingly competitive national research landscape, UVM recently posted a record total of more than $181.7 million in yearly research funding for fiscal year 2020, with $105 million of that coming from biomedical research associated with Larner faculty – a 32 percent increase over the prior year. Larner researchers also recently received a $12 million multi-year grant from NIH for the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence on Cardiovascular and Brain Health that will also be housed in the new Firestone Medical Research Building. Larner researchers have also risen to the special challenges of 2020, with 53 active COVID-19 research projects in progress.
“Our research funding and impact have increased dramatically in recent years, but to continue this progress, we must invest in the future," said Larner College of Medicine Dean Richard L. Page, M.D. "This grant, combined with funds from UVM, the College, and generous donors, will allow completion of the Firestone Medical Research Building within two years, and will provide state-of-the-art research facilities critical to our continued success.”
"For years, researchers and faculty at UVM have worked hard to make the school a leader in the field of biomedical research," said Senator Patrick Leahy. "This grant, which will help fund the new, state-of-the-art Center for Shared Biomedical Resources, will solidify UVM as a regional leader in biomedical research and studies. This Center will help UVM attract and retain high-quality researchers, faculty, trainees and students from across the country and around the world. There is not a better place for this new, innovative Center than at UVM. I could not be more proud or more delighted about this for the incredible faculty and staff at UVM as this project continues to unfold."