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Heart Disease, Mesothelioma and Nanotech Medical Sensors Among Research Targets

The Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics is awarding nearly $6 million in state-funded research support to seven research teams. This new round of scientific exploration will provide initial support for research on heart disease, mesothelioma, infection prevention and epilepsy. Other projects include nanotech medical sensors and human-safe pesticides designed for Minnesota.

"These new awards reflect the Partnership's continuing focus on major diseases affecting Minnesotans, and break new ground with innovative biotech ideas that can have a major impact on a range of health issues," says Mark Paller, M.D., Partnership program director at the University of Minnesota.

"We're beginning to explore ways to use biotechnology and nanotechnology to do analysis and to make Minnesota's environment healthier by avoiding toxic chemicals in pest control," explains Eric Wieben, Ph.D., Partnership program director at Mayo Clinic.

Applications for the projects were requested last fall from University and Mayo researchers. Each research proposal has a principal investigator from each institution and must be a project that could not be completed by either organization on its own. The field was narrowed and then final selection was made with input from an outside panel of national experts. Consideration was given to the potential commercialization of the research. The funding will be for two years, with the goal of developing intellectual property or attracting additional research support from federal or private sources.

The Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics is a collaboration among the University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic and the State of Minnesota. To learn more about the Partnership, go to

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