The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 signed into law in February has significantly boosted scientific and medical research at Vanderbilt. As of Sept. 30, Vanderbilt researchers had received 180 grants totaling more than $74 million in first-year funding.
Of those, 165 grants were awarded by the National Institutes of Health, 14 were awarded by the National Science Foundation, and one came from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
About one-third of the grants support new projects while two-thirds provide supplemental funding for existing grants. Most are supporting medically related projects in areas ranging from pharmacology to pediatrics to neuroscience and cancer biology, but a significant number of grants are going to projects in other fields, including chemistry, physics, astronomy, biological sciences and computer science. The research being funded runs the gamut from probing the origins of volcanic super-eruptions to electrical abnormalities that may cause life-threatening cardiac rhythm disturbances.
The Recovery Act committed $787 billion in federal funds to help stimulate the national economy. From this, 2.5 percent was earmarked for support of scientific and medical research.