Obama unveils $5B in research funding

Promising thousands of new jobs, President Obama announced today $5 billion in biomedical funding. The funds are being doled out under the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. More than 12,000 grants will be handed out over the next two years.

"We know that this kind of investment will also lead to new jobs: tens of thousands of jobs conducting research, manufacturing and supplying medical equipment, and building and modernizing laboratories and research facilities," said President Obama. Secretary Kathleen Sebelius added that the funding will accelerate progress towards finding new medicines, treatments, and cures.

One fifth of the money--$1 billion--will be used fund genomic research. The investment includes $175 million for The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) to collect more than 20,000 tissue samples from more than 20 cancers, and determine in detail all of the genetic changes in thousands of these tumor samples. "We are about to see a quantum leap in our understanding of cancer," said NIH Director Francis S. Collins (photo).  "...This ambitious effort promises to open new windows into the biology of all cancers, transform approaches to cancer research and raise the curtain on a more personalized era of cancer care."

- see the White House release
- here's more from Reuters