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Stanford Report, September 6, 2000

Proposals sought by Oct. 15 for quick-turnaround grants in biomedical sciences  

Pharmaceutical company Aventis Pharma is offering $250,000, two-year research grants to investigators at Stanford to quickly fund new, innovative research in the biomedical sciences.

The grants program -- in it's fourth year at Stanford -- was created under a collaborative agreement set up between Stanford and French pharmaceutical company Rhône-Poulenc Rorer. Aventis Pharma formed in December 1999, following the merger of the life sciences divisions of Rhône-Poulenc Rorer and German pharmaceutical company Hoechst.

Stanford currently has 13 ongoing grants from Aventis with investigators from departments in both the School of Medicine and Humanities and Sciences.

"Aventis is committed to growing the collaborative research relationship with Stanford," said Helen M. Blau, chair of the Department of Molecular Pharmacology, who initiated the collaboration.

"They are interested in a broad spectrum of research areas and are not limiting their grants to investigators in the School of Medicine," she added. "The beauty of these small grants is the short lead time between submission and funding -- less than three months. The proposals offer an excellent way to fund an innovative idea and give the investigator a chance to explore industrial rather than governmental funding."

This year, Aventis is specifically interested in the following areas:

c Technologies: general biotechnology, genomics technologies, chemical lead identification, natural products and screening technologies.

c Disease Areas: oncology, anti-infectives, neurodegenerative diseases, CNS and psychiatric diseases, asthma, inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis, COPD, thrombosis, cardiovascular diseases and metabolic diseases.

c Gene Therapy: delivery vector technologies and mechanisms, and genes related to the process of angiogenesis applicable to cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Proposals are due by October 15, and successful grants will be announced in early January with funding to start in January 2001. A minimum of three new grants will be funded. Submission guidelines can be found online at

For more information, contact Robin Holbrook (723-6270, or Laura Butler (735-4866, in Molecular Pharmacology. SR