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Penn Medicine: $13 Million in Stimulus Construction Funds for New Translational Research Center
September 21, 2010, Volume 57, No. 04

Earlier this summer, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine received close to $13 million in stimulus funds—the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009—to construct additional research space in the $370 million Translational Research Center (TRC), which is scheduled to open its first phase in early 2011. The TRC grant is part of the $159 million in ARRA funds awarded to Penn Medicine by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to create or sustain jobs and to provide the infrastructure necessary to make the scientific discoveries that can lead to improved health.

The funds are being used to construct laboratories dedicated to translational research, including chronobiology, the study of how daily physiological rhythms affect health. The TRC will be the first medical research building on the Penn campus—and one of the first anywhere—to be physically integrated into facilities for patient care, namely the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine and the Roberts Proton Therapy Center. When completed, the TRC will be the focal point for translational research funded by Penn’s NIH Clinical and Translational Research Award.

“The ARRA award enables Penn Medicine to realize its vision of truly integrating research in fundamental biological mechanisms with clinical care—the result will be exciting new approaches to understanding and treating a wide spectrum of diseases that are most prevalent in our society including cancer, diabetes and atherosclerosis,” says Dr. Glen N. Gaulton, executive vice dean and chief scientific officer, who serves as the principal investigator of the TRC grant.

The stimulus funds will be used to create space that unites basic scientists with clinical investigators to exchange ideas on new discoveries, techniques, and technologies. The new space will focus on supporting a team of interdisciplinary scientists and physicians who study the genes and molecular mechanisms fundamental to human development and the human biological clock. Applications of this work extend to behavior, physiology, regeneration, and cancer therapy. The TRC will also foster new programs, training, and recruitment in translating basic science into improved clinical care.

In addition, over 400 new jobs supporting national and local businesses are expected to be created during construction and operation of the TRC.


Almanac - September 21, 2010, Volume 57, No. 04