PHILADELPHIA - Earlier this summer, the Perelman School of Medicine received close to $13 million in stimulus funds -- the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 -- to construct additional research space in the $370 million Smilow Center for Translational Research (SCTR), which is scheduled to open its first phase in early 2011. The SCTR grant is part of the $159 million in ARRA funds awarded to Penn Medicine by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to create or sustain jobs and to provide the infrastructure necessary to make the scientific discoveries that can lead to improved health.
The funds are being used to construct laboratories dedicated to translational research, including chronobiology, the study of how daily physiological rhythms affect health. The SCTR will be the first medical research building on the Penn campus - and one of the first anywhere - to be physically integrated into facilities for patient care, namely the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine and the Roberts Proton Therapy Center. When completed, the SCTR will be the focal point for translational research funded by Penn's NIH Clinical and Translational Research Award.
"The ARRA award enables Penn Medicine to realize its vision of truly integrating research in fundamental biological mechanisms with clinical care - the result will be exciting new approaches to understanding and treating a wide spectrum of diseases that are most prevalent in our society including cancer, diabetes and atherosclerosis," says Glen N. Gaulton, Ph.D., Executive Vice Dean and Chief Scientific Officer, who serves as the principal investigator of the SCTR grant.
The stimulus funds will be used to create space that unites basic scientists with clinical investigators to exchange ideas on new discoveries, techniques, and technologies. The new space will focus on supporting a team of interdisciplinary scientists and physicians who study the genes and molecular mechanisms fundamental to human development and the human biological clock. Applications of this work extend to behavior, physiology, regeneration, and cancer therapy. The SCTR will also foster new programs, training, and recruitment in translating basic science into improved clinical care.
In addition, over 400 new jobs supporting national and local businesses are expected to be created during construction and operation of the SCTR.
Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.3 billion enterprise.
The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 16 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $398 million awarded in the 2012 fiscal year.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania -- recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Penn Medicine also includes additional patient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region.
Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2012, Penn Medicine provided $827 million to benefit our community.