ROCHESTER and MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — The Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics has awarded $2.5 million to four teams of researchers to support scientific infrastructure used in collaborations between existing researchers at the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic. The funding must be used for equipment, software or other technology essential to specific research projects and must be mutually available to the project participants at both institutions. This year’s awards will help investigators target topics ranging from heart disease and cancer to drug development and the microbiome, all key focus areas of research in Minnesota.
The awards for 2014 are:
Electroporation for Selective, Non-Thermal, Reversible and Irreversible Tissue Ablation – Samuel Asirvatham, M.D., Mayo Clinic, and Paul Iaizzo, Ph.D.,
University of Minnesota – $831,950
This award will fund equipment and facilities in a core center to research and advance clinical use of electroporation by a large number of physicians at both institutions. Electroporation uses energy to disrupt cell membranes, ultimately to kill cells that are either dead or damaged or subject to tumors, without causing damaging to adjoining tissues or organs.
Minnesota Microbiome Data Engine – Kenny Beckman, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, and Heidi Nelson, M.D., Mayo Clinic – $344,105
The funding will provide infrastructure so researchers from both institutions can advance their study of the human microbiome, the microbes that coexist in the body, performing functions ranging from digestion to defense against infection. It will help improve and expands methods, practices and standards and expand existing core facilities.
Motion Imaging Data Acquisition for Musculoskeletal Diagnosis and Guided Treatment – Paula Ludewig, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, and Kristin Zhao, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic – $988,315
A shared fluoroscopic imaging system will add speed and accuracy to research into how best to diagnose and treat movement abnormalities and conduct joint replacements. The device would be used for research studies that would inform and improve practice methods at each institution.
Mass Cytometry Infrastructure for Fundamental and Translational Research in Minnesota – Edgar Arriaga, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, and James Kirkland, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic – $411,168
This award provides funds to purchase software and training, and develop a broad user base for the recently obtained mass cytometer at the University of Minnesota. The device allows for rapid analysis of individual cells at various stages of development, including determining the cellular response to drug treatments. The award will allow dozens of individual scientists to be trained at both institutions so they can maximize use of the technology.