Bioscience

Laurence Hurley has been awarded one of 38 NIH grants for research projects that could have an extraordinary impact on many areas of science.

September 9, 2008

By Flinn Foundation

[Source: University of Arizona Communications] – Laurence Hurley, professor of pharmacy at The University of Arizona and associate director of the BIO5 Institute, has been awarded one of 38 National Institutes of Health grants for exceptionally innovative research projects that could have an extraordinary impact on many areas of science.

The grants totaling $42.2 million are the first made in a new program called EUREKA (Exceptional, Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration), which helps investigators test novel and often unconventional hypotheses or tackle major technical challenges.

Hurley is designing a molecular system that permits the design of simple drugs that turn off cancer genes.

Each EUREKA researcher will receive approximately $200,000 per year for up to four years, subject to the availability of appropriations.

“EUREKA projects promise remarkable outcomes that could revolutionize science,” said NIH Director Dr. Elias A. Zerhouni. “The program reflects NIH’s commitment to supporting potentially transformative research, even if it carries a greater than usual degree of scientific risk.”

“EUREKA is an experiment in how to attract, identify and support particularly creative approaches that, if successful, could move science forward dramatically,” said Jeremy M. Berg, director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, or NIGMS, which led the development of the EUREKA program. “One way EUREKA does this is through a specialized application and review process focusing on the significance and innovation of the proposal.”
In addition to NIGMS, the other NIH divisions funding EUREKA projects are the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.