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The top 10 biomedical research institutions

Academic research institutions play a crucial role in the drug development process, especially on the preclinical research and drug discovery side, as Big Pharma companies are increasingly cutting back their R&D spending. We've taken a look at some of the best research institutions in the U.S. and ranked by them by their level of funding from the National Institutes of Health, the largest funder of biomedical research in the world.

Nasal vaccine protects mice from West Nile virus

A new nasal vaccine provided protective immunity against West Nile virus in mice after two doses, according to research presented at the American Society for Microbiology Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting.

U.K. pledges to reduce use of animals for bioscience research

The U.K. plans to cut back on animal testing in bioscience research and instead use new technology like tissue engineering, stem cells, noninvasive imaging and mathematical modeling to pursue drug discovery and development.

Gates Foundation delivers an $11.8M grant to fuel tuberculosis R&D

With drug-resistant tuberculosis on the rise worldwide, the nonprofit Critical Path Institute has won an $11.8 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help speed development of new, much-needed TB drugs.

Epilepsy drug reverses fatty liver disease in obese mice

A commonly used epilepsy drug may be able to stop fatty liver disease and prevent Type 2 diabetes in obese people, according to a new study by Johns Hopkins researchers.

Stem cell signaling protein spurs cancer spread

In a finding that could have implications for leukemia treatment, investigators at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have linked a protein associated with an important stem cell signal to cancer growth.

Mechanism that boosts bone growth could aid osteoporosis drug design

A newly discovered mechanism that promotes bone growth could lead to novel treatments for osteoporosis, which affects an estimated one in three women and one in 12 men in the U.S..

Merck halts drug testing on chimpanzees

Citing growing alternative options in preclinical testing, drug giant Merck said it will stop conducting or financially supporting biomedical research on chimpanzees.

Exposure to acid turns adult cells into stem cells

An international team of scientists has found a new way to create stem cells without the use of an embryo or outside DNA--an advance in stem cell technology that doesn't carry the ethical concerns of embryonic stem cells or the safety issues of induced pluripotent stem cells.

$40M gift from stem cell agency will fund new genomics initiative

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine is putting $40 million toward the creation of a new Center of Excellence in Stem Cell Genomics, which will bring together experts and investigators from 7 California institutions.

Plant-based compound maintains memory against Alzheimer's in mice

A naturally occurring chemical found in fruits and vegetables demonstrated preventive abilities against memory loss associated with Alzheimer's in mice, suggesting a new way to treat symptoms of the disease independently of targeting amyloid plaques.

Reengineered antibiotic gains ability to thwart drug-resistant TB strains

Drug-resistant tuberculosis is a growing public health crisis in many parts of the world, but a new class of antibiotics developed by scientists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital may be able to overcome these deadly strains.

Researchers repair retinas in mice with virus-free stem cells

Johns Hopkins researchers have developed a safer way to make human iPS cells, and using these cells, they've successfully repaired damaged retinal vascular tissue in mice.

$3M initiative will focus on finding new drugs for Alzheimer's

The New York City-based Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation and the U.K.'s Alzheimer's Society are collaborating to launch a $3 million initiative that will provide funding for research in Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.

Discovery links genes to excess belly fat

New genes identified by scientists at the University of Louisville in Kentucky may indicate a person's predisposition to excess abdominal fat, which can be an indicator of more serious health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and cancer.

Genetic platform allows scientists to tap marine microbiota for drug discovery

A new genetic platform that enables scientists to synthetically produce naturally occurring molecules could help propel new drug development by opening up access to marine microbiota that's previously proved difficult to harness.

Alzheimer's research blames a protein for amyloid buildup, memory loss

For the first time, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic have linked a protein in the brain that could be responsible for critical memory loss associated with amyloid beta in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

Innovimmune inhibitor prevents multiple sclerosis in mice

A small-molecule inhibitor developed by Innovimmune Biotherapeutics prevents multiple sclerosis from developing in mice.

Existing antiviral drug could treat H7N9 flu

Researchers at Kansas State University think they've found an existing antiviral drug that could squelch the H7N9 flu.

AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers bestow $5M on diabetes research program

AstraZeneca's and Bristol-Myers Squibb's U.S. Diabetes Alliance is giving a three-year, $5 million grant to the American Diabetes Association's Pathway to Stop Diabetes program.