Georgetown University Medical Center received $28.9 million in federal research grants between early 2009 and September 2010, GUMC said in a statement released Tuesday.

The funds have been allocated among 35 scientists and physicians representing various fields of study, including pharmacology, oncology, neuroscience and others and will help to remedy the mounting funding pressures GUMC faces.

The funds come from the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, of which the National Institutes of Health received a portion.

Robert Clarke, vice president and dean for research at GUMC, said that federal grants like the ARRA, which targets the broader biomedical research sector of the economy, are unusual.

“It is rare for the federal government to provide a large amount of additional funding to support the nation’s research enterprise,” he said.

Clarke said the federal grants are welcome relief from government funding shortages that have reached record levels in recent years.

“GUMC is not alone in facing the most restricted level of government funding for NIH and its biomedical research community in probably the past 25 years, or perhaps the entire history of NIH. … For example, an established investigator in cancer is predicted to have a 93 percent chance of their grant not being funded,” he said.

The recipients of the funds will use the money to undertake a variety of studies, including one on neuron stimuli and another on diet-induced obesity.

Clarke touted ARRA’s decision to grant funds to GUMC as a testament to the strength of its research team.

“It is a testament to the quality of research and the dedication of our faculty that we continue to compete effectively with the very best researchers in the United States,” he said.

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