Tuesday, June 3, 2014

KU Medical Center receives $19 million National Institutes of Health grant to support multi-university bioscience program

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — 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.

“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. It also brings together universities in Kansas that work together to help make students and faculty successful in their biomedical research.”

“This program allows KU Medical Center, working with our partners in higher education throughout the state, to keep the biosciences in Kansas growing and thriving,” said Douglas Girod, M.D., executive vice chancellor of the University of Kansas Medical Center. “Through this funding, we are ensuring that future generations of scientists will continue to build healthy communities in Kansas and make world-changing discoveries in the field of biomedical research.”

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 5-year renewed 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.

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.

The financial support from NIH over the last 13 years 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.