LITTLE ROCK — The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences held a grand opening Friday for two new cancer research labs built with funding from the 2009 federal stimulus.

U.S. Sens. John Boozman, R-Ark., and Mark Pryor, D-Ark., were on hand to celebrate the opening of the labs on the ninth and 11th floors of UAMS’ Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute.

Construction of the labs was funded by a $10.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, with funding for the grant provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Boozman voted against the act and Pryor voted for it.

"I want to thank the stimulus funding for helping us get these research laboratories designed and built," said Dr. Peter Emmanuel, director of the cancer institute and professor of medicine at the UAMS College of Medicine. "Many of our current UAMS researchers are already starting to benefit from this space, but more importantly it gives us the space and opportunities to recruit in new researchers and new physician-scientists to UAMS."

The labs add 33,660 square feet of research space at the institute. Types of cancer studied in the labs will include multiple myeloma, leukemia, lymphoma, solid tumors and brain, skin, breast and cervical cancers.

Boozman and Pryor said they were honored to support the project.