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$112,500 Biotech Center Grant Leads To $40M (And Counting)

Courtesy of UNC-Chapel Hill

Institutional Development Grant

In 2001, shortly after a young cardiologist named Cam Patterson moved to North Carolina and joined the medical faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he looked around for help buying a new research tool capable of keeping up with his prodigious appetite for discovery.

He applied for an Institutional Development Grant from the Biotechnology Center for a newly developed ultrasound machine that would let his team visualize the inner workings of small lab animals’ cardiovascular systems without surgery. The Center approved the funding.

The rest, as they say, is history. And history continues to be made as a result of that $112,500 piece of research gear.

“It put us at the forefront of cardiovascular research technology,” Patterson said. “It was an enormous boost to my research program and to everything we wanted to accomplish at UNC. Nowadays it’s a routine piece of equipment for doing small-animal cardiovascular research. But at that time UNC was one of the first institutions to adopt small-animal institutional cardiology. We went straight to the front of the line in cardiovascular research with that grant.”

“The Biotech Center grant helped my lab, it helped the entire University of North Carolina, and it has had an international impact.”

So has Patterson. The Biotech Center grant paved the way for a string of other grant awards, mostly from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, bringing some $40 million to his lab so far.