May 18, 2010
Award From National Institutes of Health Also to Create Up to 78 New Jobs
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center announces that it was awarded a research facility improvement grant in the amount of $7,000,028 from the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Research Resources. In response to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the grant is for the renovation of the Center for Translational Molecular Imaging (CTMI) located on the campus of Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, Md.
Johns Hopkins Bayview will use this grant to renovate 4,156 square feet in the G Building to create a development lab, a facility capable of generating reagents according to current good manufacturing practice, and to house an imaging suite with a dual modality positron emission tomography (PET) scanner.
These renovations will allow Johns Hopkins Bayview to use functional, reliable and energy efficient mechanical systems to support the clinical use of the space. Using current good manufacturing practice criteria, air handling equipment, air distribution equipment and materials, terminal HEPA filter modules, and controls and monitoring of the environment and pressurization will be incorporated. Proposed renovations will be made according to green and sustainable principles, while minimizing impact on the environment and providing a safe work area.
The initial focus of the CTMI will be on projects related to oncology and neurosciences. The goal of the CTMI is to generate cellular and molecular imaging agents onsite in an academic lab setting. Imaging agents are chemicals administered to physiologically show what is happening in a tissue or tumor. They are designed to be ‘tracers’ of physiology and have no pharmacologic effect.
Currently, there is no similar translational molecular imaging center at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions (JHMI) and few, if any, nationally that are dedicated specifically to bringing new molecular imaging agents, of all modalities, to the clinic and patients.
Researchers at JHMI and elsewhere are continually uncovering new therapeutic targets, reagents and biomarkers for cancer, central nervous system disease, cardiovascular disease and other disorders. An efficient way to validate new markers and drugs in human subjects and hasten their clinical acceptance is by imaging, an inherently noninvasive and quantitative method. It remains difficult to move new molecular imaging agents to the clinic – to undertake the critical Phase 0 (first-in-man) study.
The CTMI’s work will include first-in-man studies as a way to bring these imaging agents to patients faster, with the hope that this process will provide early diagnosis and support emerging cancer therapies.
This project will create or maintain up to 78 construction-related jobs with construction ending on or near January 1, 2012.
The principal investigator is David Hellmann, M.D., the Aliki Perroti Professor in Innovative Medicine and chairman, Department of Medicine; Vice Dean, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. He notes, “This grant is an important award to Johns Hopkins Bayview and reflects the strength of our existing imaging programs, such as in neuropsychiatric research.”
Leading the development of the CTMI is Martin Pomper, M.D., Ph.D., professor of radiology and radiological science, with other joint appointments at Johns Hopkins. “Molecular imaging promises to provide new methods for the early detection of cancer and support for personalized therapy for cancer and other disorders,” says Pomper. “The overall goal of our work in the CTMI is to develop new techniques and agents to study human disease through imaging, and bring this groundbreaking research from the lab to the patients as soon as possible.”
With a wide variety of projects ripe for translation, and a team of dedicated individuals with key complementary skills, the CTMI should become a valuable regional and national resource.
The project described was supported by Award Number G20RR031203 from the National Center for Research Resources, part of the National Institutes of Health. More information about NCRR’s Recovery Act grants can be found at www.ncrr.nih.gov/recovery.