Oct. 13-19, 2000
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Foundation to fund biomedical research
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Foundation to fund biomedical research

By Fariss Samarrai

The Ivy Foundation, a new independent foundation presently endowed at $7 million to assist the University's biomedical research efforts, will soon begin considering proposals to fund innovative studies in the biomedical sciences.

"The Ivy Foundation is dedicated to helping the University fund its top priority research projects in the biomedical sciences," said William C. Battle, a retired Charlottesville businessman and attorney who chairs the foundation's board. He served on the U.Va. Board of Visitors from 1976 to 1980. "We are looking for first-rate research that will seek answers to some of the most important problems in health and medicine."

The University, in partnership with the Ivy Foundation, has developed a grant competition to support highly innovative research initiatives that enhance biomedical research priorities recommended by the University's 2020 Science and Technology Planning Commission.

More information about the grants will be available soon on the Web site for the Office of the Vice President for Research and Public Service. (See www.virginia.edu/researchandpublicservice)

Target areas, as recommended by the commission, include biodifferentiation -- an emerging field of biomedicine which seeks greater understanding of how cells, tissues and organs acquire form and function, and of the cell processes that lead to disease conditions such as cancer and diabetes. The ultimate goal of such research is to prevent the development of disease or to find the most highly effective treatments.

"Ivy Foundation funds will support individual researchers or multidisciplinary groups of researchers from across the University who are trying to solve important basic or applied problems in biomedicine, said Gene Block, vice president for research and public service. "Most awards will be made on a one-year basis, though multi-year support will be considered based on successful yearly progress. Proposals will be considered annually."

The criteria for selection of the awards will include: scientific merit; relationship of the research to the University's strategic research priorities; potential for additional federal, foundation or industry funding; and potential for the creation of intellectual property.

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Public Service will begin taking faculty proposals in late fall, and the first award announcements are planned for January 2001.


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