Feb. 7, 1997

KU researchers recieve $4.9 million grant


Scientist at KU received a five-year, $4.9 million grant to support their mental-retardation research.

The grant funds will be available for allocation to 57 KU investigators working on 62 projects under the umbrella of the Kansas Center for Mental Retardation, said Stephen R. Schroeder, director of the KU Institute for Life Span Studies.

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development made the award.

The investigators are working at the Smith Mental Retardation and Human Development Center on the KU Medical Center campus; Juniper Gardens Children's Project in Kansas City, Kan.; the Institute for Life Span Studies and other units based in Lawrence; and a branch of the institute in Parsons.

Researchers at the children's project and the institute study risks and prevention of mental retardation, as well as intervention techniques to permit children to develop normally. They also focus on language and communication. Smith center researchers concentrate on reproductive biology and the development of the central nervous system as they relate to retardation.

Particular projects focus on topics such as these:

The $4.9 million will be allocated to scientists who already have attracted a grant. It will help pay for support services related to their grants, Schroeder said. He is one of two principal overseers of the $4.9 million. The other is Paul Cheney, who directs the Smith center.

Services funded by the grant include research design, analysis, administration and computer support, Schroeder said.

Other services are related to investigations of the biological bases of mental retardation. These include growing tissue cultures, cloning antibodies and analyzing high-tech images.

The KU center is one of 14 such U.S. centers funded by the federal government.

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