The University of Kansas Medical Center has received a five-year, $19 million grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health, which will continue a Kansas cell and developmental biology research program that has brought $64 million into the state since it was first funded in 2001.
One of the largest biomedical research grants awarded in Kansas, the award is for the Kansas Institutional Development Award Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (K-INBRE). K-INBRE is a multi-disciplinary program to enhance Kansas’ research capacity through faculty development, retention and infrastructure, as well as inspire undergraduate researchers to pursue careers in biomedical research. Ten university campuses in Kansas and Oklahoma are a part of the initiative, including Washburn University.
“The K-INBRE program is very important to Washburn University. For more than 10 years, the K-INBRE program has supported many biology and chemistry undergraduate students in their research,” said Sam Leung, Washburn University Campus Coordinator and professor of chemistry. “The students have benefited greatly from the experience, and many have gone on to graduate schools and medical schools to pursue advanced degrees in science and medicine.”
The grant will fund numerous research initiatives, including research projects and startup funds for new faculty, post-doctoral fellowships and undergraduate student research projects. The grant also supports translational research partnerships between clinicians and basic scientists, and provides bridging funds for national-level applications that are close to acquiring national funding. A major initiative of the grant is to enhance bioinformatics research in Kansas that builds biological information databases. Known as the K-INBRE Bioinformatics Core, the facility is directed by Susan Brown, Ph.D., university distinguished professor of biology at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan.
“The INBRE is a critical program for the state of Kansas,” said Douglas Wright, Ph.D., program director and professor of anatomy and cell biology at KU Medical Center. “This award will continue to enhance and strengthen our network of researchers, students and others in the biomedical field, and help researchers in Kansas remain competitive for national research grants.”
K-INBRE was originally funded in 2001 as part of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences’ Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program. IDeA supports biomedical researchers in 23 states and Puerto Rico that historically have been underfunded by NIH research dollars. Throughout its 13-year tenure, K-INBRE has received more than $44 million in funding. This support has assisted researchers in obtaining 189 grants totaling $96.4 million to date.
More information about the program can be found at www.k-inbre.org.
Washburn students and faculty at the 2014 K-INBRE conference