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NIH deciding whether to continue funding largest contract for Wayne State medical research

October 3, 2012

Wayne State University is at a record level of research funding for various programs through the National Institutes of Health. In the federal government's fiscal year, which ended Sunday, Wayne State received nearly 200 awards totaling $64.9 million for research grants, training grants and fellowships, according to NIH program data. The 2012 NIH data do not yet include the category of research and development contracts, which officials said the agency is still compiling. However, the Web database, maintained by the federal Office of Management and Budget, reports a separate 21 R&D contract and delivery order awards to Wayne State during fiscal 2012 - for an overall funding total of more than $88.5 million. That's up from $76.6 million in fiscal 2011 and just under $80 million in total funding in 2010 across all spending categories. In fact, it's more than any of the past 20 budget years, according to NIH data. The previous high was $88.2 million in fiscal 2003. Wayne State's largest single program in that budget is the Perinatology Research Branch, staffed by Wayne State physicians at Hutzel in the Detroit Medical Center and funded under a 10-year, $167 million contract that began in 2002 and lapses Oct. 31. Wayne State applied for the new contract Aug. 8 and is awaiting word from the NIH, which also has received other bidders. Matt Lockwood, director of communications for Wayne State, said the university will not discuss the Perinatology Branch program while the application review is pending.