Mayo Clinic Receives $16M in Research Grants

The bulk of the funding, which comes from the National Institutes of Health, will aid pharmacogenomics research-which helps determine how a patient will respond to medications.

Mayo Clinic announced Tuesday that it has received approximately $16 million in funding for genetics research.

As part of a $166.3 million grant program aimed at expanding pharmacogenomics research-which helps determine how a patient will respond to medications-the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provided an $11.2 million federal research grant to Mayo Clinic.

“Using genome-wide techniques we have the ability to scan across the entire genome, looking for genes that might play a role in who does and who does not respond to drugs,” Richard Weinshilboum, Mayo Clinic's principal investigator on the award, said in a statement. “This grant will help us to continue to apply the most modern techniques of drug response, mainly in patients with breast cancer and depression.”

The techniques that the grant will help fund enable doctors to predict how a patient will respond to specific drugs-prior to administering any form of treatment. According to Mayo Clinic, the method will improve patient care by helping doctors determine the appropriate doses for various drugs and avoid certain side effects caused by medications.

Mayo Clinic was one of 19 pharmacogenomics research sites that received a portion of the $166.3 million initiative.

“Through these studies, we are moving closer to the goal of using genetic information to help prescribe the safest, most effective medicine for each patient,” Francis Collins, director of the NIH, said in a statement.

In addition to the $11.2 million in NIH funding, the Mayo Clinic announced that it has received a gift of $3.1 million to aid the work of bioinformatics researcher Christopher Chute, as well as a $2.3 million grant to assist genomics researcher Eric Wieben in his work with next-generation DNA sequencing.

Mayo Clinic treats more than half a million people annually at its campuses in Rochester; Jacksonville, Florida; and Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona. It operates two of Minnesota's largest hospitals based on number of available beds-Saint Mary's Hospital and Rochester Methodist Hospital.