Biomedical Research Program Introduction and Overview
Since 2001, the Florida Legislature has recognized the need to support vital research conducted in both academic and private institutions throughout the state through the Bankhead-Coley Cancer Research (Bankhead-Coley) Program (section 215.5602, Florida Statutes) and the James and Esther King Biomedical Research (King) Program (section 381.922, Florida Statutes). In fiscal year (FY) 2016-2017, this funding continued to improve the health of Florida’s families, expanded the research infrastructure of the state, and advanced efforts to bring external research funding to the state. Research grants are issued based on a competitive peer-review process. Awards from the King and Bankhead-Coley Programs are based on scientific merit, as determined by independent peer review involving experts located outside Florida who are free from conflicts of interest. Researchers at any university or established research institute in the state are eligible to apply for state funding. In FY 2016-2017, the Legislature appropriated $17,139,397, which funded a total of 18 Bankhead-Coley and King grants.
On September 22, 2016, Governor Rick Scott authorized $25 million in state funds to support the Zika Research Grant Initiative (hereafter referred to as the Zika Initiative). The intent of these research funds was to initiate new research and discoveries, with a focus on research designed to yield tangible results within three years of award. Awards from the Zika Initiative followed the same competitive peer review process as the Bankhead-Coley and King Programs. In FY 2016-2017 the Zika Initiative awarded 34 research grants.
Per statute requirements, a 2016-2017 fiscal-year progress report is to be submitted that includes the following information:
- A list of recipients of program grants or fellowships. For each research project supported by grants or fellowships awarded under the program, the report must include: (1) A summary of the research project and results or expected results of the research; (2) The status of the research project, including whether it has concluded or the estimated date of completion; (3) The amount of the grant or fellowship awarded and the estimated or actual cost of the research project; (4) A list of principal investigators under the research project; (5) The title, citation, and summary of findings of a publication in a peer-reviewed journal resulting from the research; (6) The source and amount of any federal, state, or local government grants or donations or private grants or donations generated as a result of the research project; (7) The status of a patent, if any, generated from the research project and an economic analysis of the impact of the resulting patent; (8) A list of postsecondary educational institutions involved in the research project, a description of each postsecondary educational institution’s involvement in the research project, and the number of students receiving training or performing research under the research project.
- The state ranking and total amount of biomedical research funding currently flowing into the state from the National Institutes of Health.
- Progress toward programmatic goals, particularly in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure of diseases related to tobacco use, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and pulmonary disease.
- Recommendations to further the mission of the programs.