The overall goal of this application for the renewal of the Maine IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (ME-INBRE) is to build on our success in increasing biomedical research capacity and competitiveness in Maine, using comparative functional genomics as the scientific platform for research, career, and institutional development. The Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory is the lead institution in the ME-INBRE, a collaborative partnership of 13 public and private institutions. We propose to create new and expanded programs to address the developing needs of our Network, while maintaining a proven management structure and core set of research opportunities and training programs. Research training, career development, and mentoring of undergraduate students will be implemented through programs that take into account the diversity of our students and institutions, and seek to prepare students for a broad range of career opportunities in science and health-related fields. Of the students who have engaged in INBRE training during the current project period and graduated from their institutions, 88% are pursuing science and health related careers;this includes enrollment in M.D., D.V.M, Ph.D., and M.S. programs, and careers as research and medical technicians, STEM educators, and engineers. Research training for graduate students and regional medical students will contribute to workforce development. Annually, INBRE will support Project Leaders from undergraduate and research institutions for protected time for biomedical research. Visiting Scientist Fellowships will suppor investigators from other IDeA states to come to MEINBRE to collaborate, conduct experiments, share ideas, and generate new knowledge. Networking, sharing of resources, and cross collaborations with Maine COBREs and Regional IDeA programs will leverage resources, increase diversity, and give students and faculty basic, translational, and clinical research opportunities. The proposed scientific cores, Bioinformatics and Research Resources, will provide essential resources, services, and training to Project Leaders, ME-INBRE faculty and students, and the larger scientific community. The Administrative Core will ensure administrative, scientific, and fiscal leadership, oversight, and logistical support for all activiies, and will implement a rigorous evaluation strategy to assess the progress of the ME-INBRE in accomplishing its goals. The proposed INBRE will engage all Network institutions in a coordinated and efficient manner to stimulate progress and productivity in institutional development, and research and training in comparative functional genomics.
Improving public health requires advances in biomedical research and an informed, skilled workforce. The proposed Maine INBRE will address this need by increasing the excellence of biomedical research under the broad scientific theme of comparative functional genomics, and by expanding opportunities for the high-level training needed to support growth of the relevant workforce across the state of Maine.
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