The region’s top research universities stand to lose tens of millions of dollars this year in federal grant money to the budget battle underway in Washington. Schools are nervously watching and waiting to see how federal agencies handle the automatic federal spending cuts that went into effect this month. Washington University gets most of its research funding through the federal government. St. Louis University says it could lose $2 million to $4 million from its $40 million in federally funded research. A University of Missouri spokeswoman said there is too much uncertainty surrounding cuts at various agencies to provide an estimate of potential losses.