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UNH, Dartmouth Medical School Lead $15.4M Grant for Biomedical Research

By Beth Potier, Media Relations
September 15, 2010

With a $15.4-million award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), UNH, Dartmouth Medical School (DMS) and eight undergraduate institutions are forming a network to support biomedical research by faculty and students throughout New Hampshire.

As the lead institutions, DMS and UNH will oversee the awarding of grants and fellowships for the new IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE), with the support of NIH’s National Center for Research Resources (NCRR). Partner institutions are Plymouth State University, Keene State College, Colby-Sawyer College, St. Anselm College, Franklin Pierce University, New England College, River Valley Community College in Claremont, and Great Bay Community College in Portsmouth.

“The mission of this project is to expand the infrastructure and expertise in the state of New Hampshire supporting regional biomedical research.  I look forward to the new opportunities to work with our partners across the state, particularly in the area of bioinformatics critical to so many research programs.  In this age of genomics, we must have the skills and tools to meet new opportunities to advance human and environmental health, and this support from NIH will have a major impact on capabilities for years to come,” says W. Kelley Thomas, Hubbard Professor in Genomics and Director of the Hubbard Center for Genome Studies at UNH, who will lead this initiative for UNH with support from Jan Nisbet, vice provost for research.

“The ultimate goal is to provide research opportunities for undergraduates to experience the art of scientific discovery under the close direction of faculty researchers in the state of New Hampshire,” says the new INBRE’s principal investigator, Ronald K. Taylor, Ph.D., a DMS professor of microbiology and immunology and the director of the medical school’s Microbiology and Molecular Pathogenesis Program. “We also want to retain biomedical investigators in the state – to keep and develop the talent we have here. Some of these are researchers who haven’t had the experience to get preliminary results that would allow them to compete for research grants on a national level. NH-INBRE will provide resources and develop a statewide research culture that will help to achieve these goals.”

Other UNH faculty contributing to this project are Victoria Banyard, professor of psychology; Janet Campbell, research professor of Earth sciences; Joanne Curran-Celentano, professor of animal and nutritional sciences; Stephen Jones, research associate professor of natural resources and the environment; Charles Walker, professor of zoology; and Winsor Watson, professor of zoology.

“Through the power of shared resources, the INBRE created by this award will strengthen the research infrastructure throughout New Hampshire and the Northeast region,” says NCRR Director Barbara Alving, M.D. “The bioinformatics core developed by this network will make cutting-edge technologies available to institutions across the state and ultimately speed the pace of biomedical research discovery in New Hampshire and beyond.”

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