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$3.4 million NIH grant
Vet researcher gets competitive MERIT grant
Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009
By Charlie Powell, College of Veterinary Medicine
PULLMAN - Guy H. Palmer, WSU Regent’s professor of pathology and director of WSU’s School for Global Animal Health, has been awarded $3.4 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The funding comes in the form of a highly competitive MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) Award through the NIH’s Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Being highly competitive, the MERIT grant is awarded to less than 5 percent of NIH-funded investigators. It ensures uninterrupted research funding for a decade. This is the third successful multi-million dollar research renewal Palmer has had funded by the NIH.
“Animal disease researchers in WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine are verifiably the best in the world,” said WSU President Elson S. Floyd. “Receiving an NIH MERIT Award further confirms this fact. WSU’s animal disease research efforts will only continue to grow and accelerate under Dr. Palmer’s leadership as we break ground on the new facilities which will house the School for Global Animal Health.”
Working at the molecular level, Palmer’s research investigates how disease-causing organisms can transmit diseases without detection and destruction by the body’s immune system, a characteristic that makes vaccine development for certain diseases very difficult.
Essential collaborators in the effort include Regents Professor Wendy Brown and associate professor Kelly Brayton in WSU’s Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology.
The award will be divided across 10 years with more than $336,000 dispersed annually during each of the first five years. At the end of five years, there is an opportunity for the investigator to seek increased funding from NIH on the same award that could surpass the $3.4 million 10-year total.
Begun in 1987, NIH MERIT Awards are intended to provide exemplary investigators with long-term, stable support to foster their continued creativity and spare them some of the administrative burdens associated with frequent preparation and submission of research grant applications.