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ARRA Investments in Shared Instrumentation

Public Health Burden
The Instrumentation program provides grants to NIH-supported research institutions to purchase research instruments that will serve multiple scientists. It is a cost-effective mechanism to provide a group of investigators with technologically sophisticated equipment to support federally sponsored research. Using the newest and most advanced technology increases biomedical and behavioral research capacity and benefits biomedicine throughout the United States. Scientists are using ARRA grant awards to purchase new imaging systems, diagnostic tools, and data analysis resources.

Research Instrumentation Supported
The Shared Instrumentation and the High-End Instrumentation grant awards, provide groups of NIH grantees with funding for equipment which is too costly to obtain with regular grants. Instrumentation awards support a continuum of biomedical research from basic laboratory research to research conducted in the clinic.

Shared Instrumentation Grants (SIG) - The SIG program supports grants to groups of three or more NIH-supported investigators at public and non-profit domestic institutions for the purchase of commercially available instruments costing from $100,000 to $500,000. Types of instruments supported include confocal and electron microscopes, biomedical imagers, mass spectrometers, DNA sequencers, biosensors, cell sorters, X-ray diffraction systems, and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometers.

High-End Instrumentation Grants (HEI) - The HEI program supports grants to groups of three or more NIH-supported investigators at public and non-profit domestic institutions for the purchase of a single major item of biomedical research equipment costing from $600,000 to $8,000,000. Examples of equipment that could be funded under this program are structural and functional imaging systems, macromolecular NMR spectrometers, high-resolution mass spectrometers, cryoelectron microscopes, and supercomputers.

Examples of instrumentation supported by ARRA awards follow:
  • The University of California, Los Angeles, Laboratory of Neuro Imaging will refine a computational imaging system that will enable advances in Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and brain development research. The instrumentation package includes processing, visualization and networking equipment to perform significant brain mapping to understand dynamic changes of the human brain in normal development and maturation and in conditions of brain disorders. 1
  • A multidisciplinary team at the University of Pittsburgh will use a 7 Tesla small animal clinical magnetic resonance imager (MRI) to visualize biomarkers and monitor the response of tumors to new cancer treatments. The small animal MRI machine is a key instrument in facilitating the translation of animal studies to humans. 2

  1. 1S10RR019901-01A1 -- Distributed Supercomputing for Brain Mapping -- Toga, Arthur (CA)
  2. 1S10RR025098-01 -- A Clinical Animal MR Imager Designed for Translational Research: the 7T Clinscan -- Wiener, Erik C (PA)

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