The Baylor Institute of Immunology Research (BIIR), a component of Baylor Research Institute, received grants totaling nearly $35 million in 2009, despite an economy that's seen a marked decrease in charitable giving and government grants.
As part of the Baylor Health Care System in North Texas, BIIR is dedicated to the study of the human immune system. BIIR conducts advanced patient-oriented research focused on using the immune system to fight serious illnesses such as cancer, infectious diseases, and autoimmune conditions.
The multiple grants will benefit a variety of research programs at BIIR, including the following
-- Biodefense against infectious disease: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a series of grants, totaling $27.5 million. These include a renewed grant, three supplementary grants funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and a five-year grant to support collaborations between BIIR scientists and researchers from within the US and several international centers.
-- Vaccines for HIV, HPV and Hepatitis C: INSERM, the research organization of the French government, awarded $6.8 million to Baylor Research Institute from ANRS (the French AIDS agency) to develop and test HIV vaccines and additional funding for a hepatitis C program. BIIR also received a federal stimulus package grant from the NIH to study a treatment for HPV.
-- Autoimmune Diseases: A five-year, $3.5 million award was granted from the NIH to establish an Autoimmunity Center of Excellence at BIIR, designed to support both clinical research as well as clinical trials. BIIR also received a renewal grant totaling $1.3 million for five years to study systemic juvenile arthritis. BIIR's Center for Personalized Medicine received a pilot project grant that will be used to develop genomic tools to help researchers diagnose and treat multiple sclerosis.
-- Additional grants were received to further research in dendritic cell-based cancer vaccines and for continued research towards immunology in pregnant women.
“These awards are due to the extraordinary efforts of our physicians, scientists, researchers and staff," says Jacques Banchereau, PhD, director of BIIR.