University of Minnesota receives nearly $26M grant for bioengineering research

U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith announced in a joint news release on Friday that the National Science Foundation awarded the University of Minnesota Institute for Engineering in Medicine and three academic collaborators nearly $26 million to create an Engineering Research Center.

Approximately $25,999,491 was given in the grant to create the ERC. The award is set for an initial five-year period and is renewable in 2025 for another five years.

The ERC’s goal, called the Advanced Technologies for Preservation of Biological Systems (ATP-Bio), is to develop and deploy technology to "stop biological time" through temperature control. This will improve transplantation and other biological therapies by preserving organic material. It will also help drive down the cost of drug discovery, according to the release.

The center will also will provide educational programs to middle schoolers and high schoolers, fund research internships in ATP-Bio labs for undergraduate students and work to increase diversity in STEM careers.

"When we invest in education and innovation for our state, we invest in a brighter future for Minnesota and our country," Klobuchar said. "This National Science Foundation funding will allow the University of Minnesota to expand biology programs that engage middle and high school students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math."

"Minnesota’s universities and colleges are innovation hubs full of possibility," Smith said. "I’m delighted to see the University of Minnesota’s Institute for Engineering in Medicine receive this award. I look forward to following their impressive bioengineering work that will create opportunity for our country. And I’m glad that the center will offer education opportunities to middle and high school students, as well as internships to undergraduates. It’s important that we keep creating more pathways to careers in STEM."

The University of Minnesota will partner with Massachusetts General Hospital; University of California, Berkeley; and the University of California, Riverside on the ATP Bio center.

To learn more about the grant, click here.