Hawai`i to benefit from new $11 million grant for biogenesis research

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Tina Shelton, (808) 692-0897
Director of Communications, Office of Dean of Medicine
Posted: Sep 15, 2014

Inside the Institute for Biogenesis Research.
Inside the Institute for Biogenesis Research.
ICSI, a technique used around the world for in vitro fertilization, was discovered at the Manoa IBR.
ICSI, a technique used around the world for in vitro fertilization, was discovered at the Manoa IBR.

The Institute for Biogenesis Research at the John A. Burns School of Medicine has been awarded $10.8 million from the National Institutes of Health to continue its groundbreaking work in reproductive and developmental biomedical research.

The Institute laid the scientific foundation for human in vitro fertilization under founder Dr. Ryuzo Yanagimachi, whose assisted reproductive methods (including ICSI--short for intracytoplasmic sperm injection) are still being used around the world to help infertile couples have children.  The Institute also cloned the world’s first mouse and has developed new, more efficient methods to produce transgenic mice, rabbits, lambs and pigs.  The animals glow green under black light, demonstrating a more-efficient genetic manipulation technique developed in Hawai`i.  That technique may lead to new and competitively efficient ways to produce medicines.

Institute scientists competed with researchers all over the U.S. to win this phase-two “Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence" award.  The new grant brings the Institute’s total research dollar awards to nearly $40 million in the past 15 years.

“This is a very good measurement of success for the Institute,” said Dr. Steven Ward, Director of the Institute for Biogenesis Research. “Any research institute is measured by its notoriety worldwide, which we’ve also had recently. It is measured by the success of its faculty members, and by the amount of federal dollars it can bring in. So we’re very pleased that we were just awarded this second $11 million grant.”

Ward said Hawai`i residents benefit from the research award, because nearly all of the funds are spent here in the Islands.

“The $10.8 million grant that we just brought in, 80% or $8.7 million of that goes directly into the Hawai‘i economy,” said Ward.

Research grants awarded to the medical school also help support operations of the University of Hawai`i as a whole. That is because half of all research money the medical school brings in goes to UH Mānoa and the UH System for them to spend in Hawai`i.

The Institute for Biogenesis Research has 14 faculty members.  The grant is from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS, Grant No. 2P20GM103457-06A1).                                                            

More About JABSOM:

Community Impact-Workforce: JABSOM is proud to have trained half of the physicians who are currently treating patients in the State of Hawai`i. Through its medical education (MD) and graduate medical education (MD Residency) programs, JABSOM is training 494 future physicians in 2014-2015.

Quality: More than 80% of the physicians annually identified as the “Best Doctors in Hawai`i” either trained or teach at the University of Hawai`i medical school.

Economic Impact: JABSOM faculty bring external funding of about $42 million annually into Hawai`i, most of it invested in jobs and services in the islands. The medical school also trains speech therapy and audiology professionals, medical technology students and some 200 students annually seeking graduate-level degrees in the biosciences: Cell and Molecular Biology (MS, PhD), Clinical Research (MS, PhD), Epidemiology (PhD), Developmental and Reproductive Biology (MS, PhD) and Tropical Medicine (MS, PhD).

For more information, visit: http://jabsom.hawaii.edu