The University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) presents an application for continued support for the Kansas IDeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (K-INBRE). The K-INBRE links KUMC (Lead Institution) with the two major doctoral-degree-granting institutions in Kansas (University of Kansas-Lawrence, KU-L;Kansas State Univ., KSU) as Graduate Partner Institutions (GPIs), and with seven Undergraduate Partner Institutions (UPls). UPls include six Kansas undergraduate campuses (Emporia State Univ., Ft. Hays State Univ., Haskell Indian Nations Univ., Pittsburg State Univ., Washburn Univ., Wichita State Univ.) and Langston Univ. (Langston, OK). Haskell Indian Nations Univ. and Langston Univ. increase diversity in the network as the first is devoted to education and training of native Americans and the second enrolls primarily black undergraduates. The long-range objective of the Kansas program is to strengthen the state's research capacity in Cell and Developmental Biology by building on the successes of the current K-INBRE. The structure and operational principles of the K-INBRE, which focus on training for biomedical research, networking and intercampus communication and the presence of a sophisticated bioinformatics program, were established during the previous years. These goals remain similar as the KINBRE has had a significant impact on biomedical research in the State of Kansas, but novel programs are tailored to fit new emerging areas associated with translational research. Programs conducted by the KINBRE have had measurable success in reaching their stated goals.
The Specific Aims proposed for the next phase of the K-INBRE are to (1) maintain and improve the current multi-disciplinary research network in Cell and Developmental Biology in the State of Kansas, strengthening both communication channels and research infrastructure, (2) enhance science and technology knowledge and integration in Kansas by offering sophisticated bioinformatics technology and education, (3) stimulate basic and translational research in the State of Kansas via mentored, interdisciplinary research opportunities. Within these Aims, new features that improve the K-INBRE include broadening funding for research careers together with improvements in oversight and the mentoring process, promoting an integrated systems biology approach within our bioinformatics network, and incorporating training for translational research into the K-INBRE goals so as to smooth the progress of scientific discoveries into the clinical arena.
Research in cell and developmental biology is essential to advancing our understanding of cellular processes of health and disease. Such research relies on generation of a strong, well educated workforce, ready availability of the tools of discovery and emphasis on applying the results of discovery research to problems of human health. In building a distinguished center of research in cell and developmental biology in Kansas, the K-INBRE vigorously pursues all three of these key strategies.
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