NIH Gives One of First EUREKA Grants to UA's Hurley

NIH Gives One of First EUREKA Grants to UA's Hurley

By BIO5 Institute
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Laurence Hurley, associate director of the BIO5 Institute, an Arizona Cancer Center member, and a College of Pharmacy professor, has been awarded one of 38 National Institutes of Health grants for exceptionally innovative research projects that could have an extraordinarily significant impact on many areas of science.

The grants, totaling $42.2 million, are the first made in a new program called EUREKA (Exceptional, Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration), which helps investigators test novel, often unconventional hypotheses or tackle major methodological or technical challenges. Hurley is designing a molecular system that permits the design of simple drugs that turn off cancer genes.

Each EUREKA researcher will receive direct costs of approximately $200,000 per year for up to four years, subject to the availability of appropriations.

“This type of funding is badly needed to support important research not easily funded through traditional sources. Eureka grants fund high-risk/high-payoff ideas. My lab has discovered molecular targets not previously pursued for drug candidates. The payoff could be a completely new way of treating cancer and other diseases,” Hurley said.

“EUREKA projects promise remarkable outcomes that could revolutionize science,” NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni said. “The program reflects NIH’s commitment to supporting potentially transformative research, even if it carries a greater than usual degree of scientific risk.”

“EUREKA is an experiment in how to attract, identify, and support particularly creative approaches that, if successful, could move science forward dramatically,” said Jeremy M. Berg, director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, which led the development of the EUREKA program.

The other NIH components funding EUREKA projects are the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

For more information on EUREKA, visit

For a full list of EUREKA projects, see


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