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San Diego State Lands $10 Million Public Health Award

Photo caption: Students are shown walking on the campus of San Diego State University, Feb. ...

Photo by Matthew Bowler

Students are shown walking on the campus of San Diego State University, Feb. 8, 2016.

The National Institutes of Health has given San Diego State University a $10 million grant to bolster its public health research.

An endowment from the National Institutes of Health will help San Diego State University build its capacity to conduct pioneering public health research.

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, part of NIH, awarded SDSU $10 million to improve the infrastructure that supports population health and health disparities research, according to a release from the university.

Rather than funding specific research projects, the money will be spent to boost SDSU researchers’ ability to carry out their work, and to better collaborate across disciplines and institutions.

Jose Castillo, a mathematics professor at SDSU and principal investigator, said no researcher can do everything on his or her own.

“We actually need the expertise from people from different areas. In particular in this grant, the main goal is to connect faculty from science, engineering and health and human services," Castillo said.

The endowment’s funding mechanism is unusual among grants awarded by the NIH. Rather than a lump-sum accorded to a particular investigator, the endowment will contribute $2 million per year over the next five years to SDSU’s philanthropic auxiliary, the Campanile Foundation.

This money will be invested and the returns it generates will be used for research infrastructure improvement. At its peak, school officials estimate that the endowment will generate approximately $479,000 per year, according to the university.

SDSU must maintain this investment for 20 years. Then the funds will release fully to the Campanile Foundation to be used to support population health and health disparities research.

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