(HOUSTON) – The Texas A&M Institute for Genomic Medicine (TIGM) – a research institute of the Texas A&M Health Science Center – has created a grant-in-aid program specifically to assist University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) scientists obtain access to research materials in an effort to help speed the recovery of UTMB’s research programs from some of the injuries caused by Hurricane Ike.

The UTMB campus in Galveston, Texas, suffered significant damage from Hurricane Ike in September 2008, causing major delays in ongoing studies and deferral of future experiments. While UTMB’s animal research facility was only a small part of the campus that was affected, it was critical to researchers throughout UTMB.

To help UTMB scientists accelerate future studies and restore their competitiveness, TIGM has created a grant-in-aid program specifically for UTMB faculty. This program will allow UTMB investigators access to TIGM’s resource. The UTMB primary investigator will need to submit a simple application that will be reviewed by TIGM prior to approval. Once accepted, TIGM will create and ship the materials from its resource of genetic models of human disease.

“UTMB is our neighbor, and in times of crisis, we should always do our best to help our neighbors,” stated Dr. Richard Finnell, executive director of TIGM. “The research and innovation generated by UTMB faculty are all part of the greater effort by Texas scientists to produce medical discoveries that will benefit the world. We must do our part as a Texas research resource to help them get back on their feet.”

Dr. Maki Wakamiya, director of UTMB’s Transgenic Mouse Facility, expressed gratitude for TIGM’s assistance. “TIGM is giving UTMB investigators a boost into new projects at a time when we’re still working to make up for lost time, data and resources,” Wakamiya said. “We really appreciate the help, and believe it will make a big difference in maintaining our competitive edge.”

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