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UCSD brings in nearly $84 million in May grants

The University of California, San Diego was awarded about $84 million in grants in May, down from the school's calendar-year high in April of $99 million. The figure, released in UCSD's monthly contract and grant report, was still significantly higher than monthly totals for each for the first three months of 2014.

In looking at the university's 2013-14 fiscal year, which began in July 2013, UCSD has been awarded grants totaling about $911.35 million. By the same point in fiscal 2012-13, UCSD had been awarded about $802.75 million, a 14 percent change.

The number of grants awarded in the respective fiscal year periods was nearly even, with a 1 percent increase, totaling 54 individual grants, reported.

UCSD's June report would have to show $88.65 million in new grants to reach $1 billion for the completed fiscal year.

Of the 616 grants awarded in May, 10 were larger than $1 million, including a nearly $5.15 million award from the federal Office of Naval Research for continuing operations on four research vessels, the Roger Revelle, Melville, New Horizon and Robert Gordon Sproul. The research operations are planned to continue through 2015.

UCSD also received in May a $1.75 million grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for an “active living research” study in which UCSD will help develop a new field to understand how built environments and policies affect physical activity for leisure transportation purposes.

The ongoing project will communicate the results to those who can enact them, such as elected officials, said James Sallis, a UCSD family and preventative medicine professor leading the project team.

"Over the years, we managed $28 million of research grants on the impact of neighborhood design, transportation facilities (bicycle paths), parks and school activity programs affecting physical activity," Sallis said.

He said the team's work is being used in the fight against childhood obesity.

Also awarded in May was $1.2 million from the California Department of Public Health for a newly formed resource hub supporting five county health departments: San Bernardino, Imperial, Inyo, Riverside and San Diego.

Funded further up the ladder by the United States Department of Agriculture and administered by UCSD's Center for Community Health, the Inland Desert Training and Resource Center supports each county's implementation of the Nutrition Education Obesity Prevention Branch programs and interventions.

The Nutrition Education Obesity Prevention Branch program is a statewide movement of partners working toward improving the health of low-income Californians through increased fruit and vegetable consumption and daily physical activity.

Michelle Murphy Zive, a principal investigator at UCSD's Center for Community Health, said that through the program, multiple venues are used to facilitate behavior change in the target group's homes, schools and communities.

"The hope is by leveraging resources, building the capacity of the five local health departments, and ultimately improving the health of low-income Californians, this grant will be renewed to continue and build upon these efforts," Zive said.

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