A new center for the study of concussions, an institute for global change biology, and a facility to advance the new field of cryo-electron tomography are among the University of Michigan projects to be funded in the first round of investments from President Mark Schlissel’s Biosciences Initiative.
Five large projects and four smaller ones, totaling up to $45 million, will be funded this fiscal year through the presidential initiative, which aims to create globally leading biosciences research programs focused on solving critical problems.
A key element of the initiative will be the hiring of 30 tenure-track faculty and a one-time investment of $150 million.
Twenty-eight proposals were submitted for the first round of Biosciences Initiative grant funding. The nine selected projects include researchers from all U-M schools and colleges that work in the biosciences and will provide startup funding to hire up to 14 new faculty members.
“We established the Biosciences Initiative to propel the University of Michigan to the forefront in critical areas of life science research. I am thrilled that our faculty have responded with groundbreaking proposals,” Schlissel said.
“Our first projects leverage U-M's comprehensive excellence, catalyze hiring in the biosciences and related disciplines, and embrace our mission to conduct research for the benefit of society.”
One of the large projects being funded is IHPI's Steven Broglio, School of Kinesiology.
Broglio is co-director of one of the largest concussion studies in the nation, jointly funded by the NCAA and the Department of Defense. This proposal calls for the creation of a comprehensive U-M concussion research center through the recruitment of an additional epidemiologist, a neuroscientist, and a clinical interventionist.
The faculty additions will build on existing U-M expertise in biomechanics, biomarkers, imaging, outcomes, sports analytics and biostatistics. The researchers will use a multidisciplinary approach to answer fundamental questions about concussion prevention, identification, diagnosis, management and outcomes.
Another project being funded, “Applying an innovation framework to improve health in rural populations,” belongs to IHPI member Christopher Friese, School of Nursing.