NOVATO, July 16, 2009 -- The Buck Institute for Age Research has been awarded $970,000 from the National Institutes of Health as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus funding, the first installment, it hopes, of more awards.

The two-year grant will fund research on the function of newborn neurons in aged brains following stroke, the continuation of research already conducted by Dr. JunLin Jin on the effect of aging on neurogenesis.

The Buck Institute has applied for a total of $43.4 million in NIH research grants, and an additional $15 million to help construct a new research building for stem cell research.

"We are intently focused on taking advantage of every opportunity available under ARRA," said James Kovach, president and COO of the Institute. "We have research plans and a shovel-ready construction project ready to go. We want to put people to work in the service of our science."

The Bay Area Council Economic Institute included the Buck's facilities request near the top of its list of 85 projects deemed most worthy of receiving federal funds. If successful, the grant would provide most of the matching funds needed to build the new center, which already has $20 million in backing from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

The NIH has $10.4 billion to allocate nationwide to create and retain jobs and advance science. The monies are slated to be paid out by October 1, 2009.