The Kansas Bioscience Authority on Monday approved $40.1 million to expand cancer research at Kansas University and the bioscience industry in Douglas County, and to develop bioenergy.
The expenditures were announced after a meeting of the Kansas Bioscience Authority in Washington, D.C.
In addition to the board meeting, authority members, along with Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and legislative leaders, plan to meet with federal officials today to discuss research funding.
On Monday, the KBA board approved $26.4 million for state-of-the-art cancer research space at Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan.
Erica Brown, a spokeswoman for the KU Cancer Center, said the project is needed as part of KU’s bid to attain National Cancer Institute designation as a major cancer research and treatment center.
“Research space is incredibly important to the NCI initiative,” Brown said. “We can’t recruit researchers without space.”
The project entails renovating the Wahl-Hixon Research Complex on the Med Center campus.
The KBA also launched its first two centers of innovation, including $5 million for the Kansas Bioscience Innovation Center in Drug Delivery.
The center will be a collaboration of KU, Kansas State and industry to develop and market drugs. The KBA said the center would have a $900 million economic impact over 10 years, including 300 jobs and hundreds of inventions, patents and start-up companies.
The KBA also awarded
$3.25 million over three years in matching funds for a Lawrence-Douglas County Bioscience Authority wet lab incubator at KU. The incubator will assist bioscience industry growth in Douglas County and the Kansas City metro region.
The KBA also approved $4.1 million for the Kansas Bioenergy and Biorefining Center of Innovation, which will unite research from industry, KU and Kansas State in the development of alternative fuels.
Other projects approved include:
• $600,000 to support research of Krista Walton of Kansas State in the design of systems for gas purification and storage.
• $500,000 for an automated compound management system to facilitate national cancer research collaboration.
• $250,000 for research on drugs that target the cells that start and support tumor growth.