Competition Will Spark New Initiatives
Foundation to Support Biomedical Research at U.Va.
6, 2000 -- The
Ivy Foundation, a new independent foundation presently endowed at
$7 million to assist the University of Virginia's biomedical research
efforts, will soon begin considering proposals to fund innovative
studies in the biomedical sciences.
William C. Battle, a retired Charlottesville
businessman and attorney who served on the University's Board
of Visitors from 1976 to 1980, is chairman of the board for the
"The Ivy Foundation is dedicated
to helping the University fund its top priority research projects
in the biomedical sciences," says Battle. "We are looking for
first-rate research that will seek answers to some of the most important
problems in health and medicine."
President for Research and Public Service
According to Gene Block, U.Va.'s
president for research and public service, 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.
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," Block says. "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
The Ivy Foundation's $7 million
basic fund was created with funds remaining from the closure of
Adirondack Biomedical Research Institute of Lake Placid, N.Y. The
foundation has interests in Argonnex, a start-up biomedical research
company in Charlottesville. The endowment is expected to grow considerably
as Argonnex progresses with its business program.
Block's office, with the advice
of a standing committee chaired by Dr. Ariel Gomez, U.Va. Genentech
professor of pediatric medicine, will administer the program. The
standing committee will include members from the medical, nursing,
natural and physical sciences, and engineering faculties. Experts
from other research communities may also be invited to participate
in the review process. The committee will conduct merit reviews
of proposals. Highly meritorious research projects will be forwarded
by Block's office to the Ivy Foundation's board of directors
who will determine which projects to fund.
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
Contact: Fariss Samarrai, (804) 924-3778