Colorado Economic Recovery and Accountability

Press Release - CU Researchers Receive $12.7 Million

News from University Relations in the Office of the President/CU System Administration

June 18, 2009


Ken McConnellogue, associate vice president of University Relations and university spokesman, 303-860-5626, 303-815-8481,

CU Researchers Receive $12.7 Million in Federal Stimulus Funding So Far

Funds Are Important Lifeline for University, But Can Only Be Used for Research

DENVER--The University of Colorado has received 33 grants totaling $12.7 million in federal stimulus funding that will--among many other projects across the CU system--support the work of researchers who are delving into the causes of birth defects and searching for better outcomes for patients suffering from lung ailments caused by life-support machines.

To date, the university's three campuses have submitted 704 grant applications worth $333 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law in Denver on Feb. 17. The act provides for up to $800 billion in new spending by Sept. 30, 2010, and is part of the federal government's efforts to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and innovation.

While such federal funding is an important economic lifeline, CU and other large public research universities can only use the grant dollars for project proposals submitted by researchers. To pay for day-to-day operations, facilities upkeep and improvements, and faculty and staff salaries, CU must rely on state support and tuition revenue. CU will release more information about awards it receives through the federal government's stimulus package as soon as it becomes available.

"We are grateful for the support our researchers will receive to advance medical and other scientific research," said CU President Bruce D. Benson. "Of course, we are also grateful for the role Colorado's congressional delegation has played in securing increased funding for many of our programs, including those that will ultimately benefit Colorado communities."

To date, CU campuses have applied for and received the following funding:

  • University of Colorado at Boulder: 176 grant applications totaling $97.1 million
    • CU-Boulder has received 14 awards totaling $6.7 million
  • University of Colorado at Colorado Springs: 12 grant applications totaling $6.7 million
    • UCCS has an additional 18 grant proposals underway
  • University of Colorado Denver (Downtown Campus and Anschutz Medical Campus): 516 grant applications totaling $229.2 million
    • UC Denver has received 19 NIH awards totaling $6 million

CU campuses will apply the federal funding to a broad array of research projects, research facility expansions and improvements, and to recruit more faculty members. About 94 percent of the university's current requests for federal stimulus research funding has been through the National Institutes of Health, and most of the awards received have been through the NIH.

An example of the awards CU has received is the more than $3 million grant that will advance research by Marc Moss, MD, a pulmonary critical care doctor at the University of Colorado Hospital and a professor in the UC Denver School of Medicine. Moss will lead a five-year clinical study that will look at a dysfunction of the nerves or muscles called polyneuromyopathy, which is often a consequence of being on mechanical life support for seven days or more.

Stimulus funding through the National Institute of Nursing Research, one of the NIH's 27 affiliated institutes, will pay for the first two years of Moss' study, which he and his team will launch on July 1. Working with 400 patients, the researchers will strive to uncover a less invasive way to diagnose the condition and find out if intensive physical therapy will improve patient outcomes. NIH funding will pay for the final three years of the study as well.

Gov. Bill Ritter's Economy Recovery Team profiled Moss and his work in a recent status report, putting a human face on the statistics behind federal stimulus dollars received by Colorado. Moss told the governor's office that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act had enabled him and his colleagues to obtain research funding much faster than would have been possible otherwise. He said his grant "allowed us to get funding to start this study earlier, which will allow us to take better care of patients at an earlier time."

NIH funding will also support the work of researchers on other CU campuses. CU-Boulder chemistry and biochemistry Professor Marcelo Sousa received a $740,796 award for two years of cell protein research, and biology Professor Michael W. Klymkowsky received a $317,000 award to investigate factors that cause defects in embryonic cells that produce more than 400 types of human birth defects. CU researchers also have received almost $5 million from the National Science Foundation, and have applied for research funding through six other federal agencies covering areas such as health and human services, defense, energy, justice, education and the arts.

About the CU System

The University of Colorado is a three-campus system with four locations: the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and the University of Colorado Denver's Downtown Campus and Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora. Nearly 54,000 undergraduate and graduate students are pursuing academic opportunities on CU campuses. CU is a premier teaching and research university, and is ranked sixth among public institutions in federal research expenditures by the National Science Foundation. Academic prestige is marked by the university's four Nobel laureates, seven MacArthur "genius" Fellows, 18 alumni astronauts and 19 Rhodes Scholars. For more information, go to

About University Relations

The Office of University Relations is responsible for all media relations, community and special event planning, and dissemination of news releases, system publications, newsletters and other internal and external communique¿s from the CU Office of the President and the CU system administration. The office also works with campus communicators at CU-Boulder, UC Denver, UCCS and the CU Foundation on systemwide strategic communications. To learn more, go to