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Research Support Jumps at Wake Forest University School of Medicine

Outside support for Wake Forest University School of Medicine soared past the landmark $100 million mark in the year ending June 30, reaching $105,993,513, the faculty learned Wednesday.

And when indirect costs are included, support totaled $132,787,300. Indirect costs pay for the use of facilities and for administration.

The nearly $106 million represents a 12.2 percent increase over last year''s total of $94,466,839, and marks an important additional cash infusion into the Winston-Salem economy.

Most of the outside support -- $89.9 million --was for research and research training, reflecting the growing research emphasis at the medical school. In just the past decade, research income has more than doubled, from just $37.7 million in 1992.

"The school is deeply committed to its research mission, as witnessed by the growth of extramural financial support for our investigators'' studies," said Richard Dean, M.D., senior vice president for health affairs of Wake Forest University. "It is through such fostering of discovery that we will define the health care of tomorrow."

Renewal and enlargement of the research programs of the Comprehensive Cancer Center and the General Clinical Research Center and funding for the newly formed Human Genomics Center contributed substantially to last year''s increase.

Including several large grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, especially the Faith in Action program, demonstration and service awards jumped from $4.4 million to $11.2 million.

The federal government -- mostly the National Institutes of Health -- is the source of 78.6 percent of the research funds. While research supported by the State of North Carolina amounts to less that 1 percent of total research dollars, the state is a major supporter of demonstration and service projects, such as the developmental evaluation clinic for children, clinical genetics, hemophilia and sickle cell programs, as well as the Northwest Area Health Education Center, which provides continuing education for doctors, nurses and other health professionals in a 17-county area.

Jay Moskowitz, Ph.D., senior associate dean, science and technology, noted that the results of the research also would affect the economy. "The transfer of the accomplishments of this critical mass of university-based biomedical research to the private sector will facilitate the development of products of immediate benefit to human health and, at the same, through the establishment of ''high tech'' companies, bolster the economic growth of the region," he said.

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