Research raises money despite drop in funding

By By Jake Hibbard

By Jake Hibbard

Much like a patient consulting a doctor about his cancer test results, there’s both good and bad news for the U’s cancer research funding.

Even though the U raised a record $354.7 million of total research funding in the 2009 fiscal year, a 16 percent increase from the previous year, the Huntsman Cancer Institute funding for cancer research has seen just the opposite happen. It endured a nearly 21 percent decrease in funds in fiscal year 2009 compared to fiscal year 2008.

Research funds at HCI were about $22.4 million in fiscal year 2009, down from about $28.2 million in fiscal year 2008, according to the Department Award Activity by College report released in June.

Funds for HCI are spread throughout 28 specialized clinics, as well as the Huntsman Cancer Hospital and Huntsman Cancer Institute, said Tom Parks, vice president for research for the U Office of Sponsored Projects.

The grants and research funds allocated to the specialized HCI clinics actually increased from fiscal year 2008 to fiscal year 2009. This year, these clinics received 26 more grants than the previous year, for a $5 million increase in funding, according to the report. The report also notes that the Huntsman Cancer Hospital saw an increase in funding of $50,000 from a single grant. Last year, it had none.

Funding for the HCI, however, drastically decreased. It had 42 fewer grants in fiscal year 2009, losing nearly $11 million in funding, accounting for the decrease once the clinic’s financial gains are added into the equation, according to the report.

Parks said he suspected some of the decrease in funding for HCI was a result of funds being reassigned to specialized clinics.

HCI administrators could not be reached for comment.

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