This proposal will continue the goals of the Arkansas IDeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) to expand biomedical research capacity in Arkansas. Building upon infrastructure developed during the first INBRE phase, three research-intensive, lead institutions in the state?the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences;the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock?will provide scientific leadership. Thirteen investigators, faculty from six undergraduate institutions, in collaboration with their mentors at the lead institutions, will conduct research under the overall theme of Cellular Signaling, Growth, and Differentiation. The Administrative Core will coordinate all Arkansas INBRE activities and facilitate the research accomplishments of these 13 investigators. The interactions among undergraduate researchers across the state will be highlighted by an annual conference attended by all INBRE faculty and students. The Arkansas INBRE will continue its commitment to expand opportunities for underrepresented groups. The INBRE will partner with the Center for Diversity Affairs and the School in advancing the goals of the newly NIH-funded Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD) Program to increase the numbers of minority students completing graduate degrees in the biomedical sciences at UAMS. Communication among INBRE participants will be facilitated by Access Grid Studios linked through Internet2. The Bioinformatics Core will be a statewide research and educational resource to give undergraduate faculty and students access to the computational tools needed for multidisciplinary biomedical research. This Core will also host a student exchange with Jackson State University (a Mississippi RCMI) to collaborate In a long-term study of cardiovascular disease in African Americans. The Arkansas INBRE will also support a Science Research Core consisting of proteomics, digital microscopy and DNA damage/toxicology facilities. These will provide investigators access to sophisticated instrumentation and technical expertise difficult to establish at a small institution. The Outreach Core will offer mentored summer research opportunities to non-INBRE undergraduate faculty and students throughout the state. Through further enhancement of research infrastructure, particularly at undergraduate Institutions, the Arkansas INBRE will improve the ability of academic researchers to compete for federal funding, increase the number of undergraduate students who choose careers in biomedical research, and stimulate the growth of biotechnical industries in Arkansas.
The INBRE program allows Arkansas investigators to be more competitive for federal funding of research that leads to better medical diagnosis and development of therapies for human diseases. INBRE support of undergraduate student training in biomedical research contributes to the development of the next generations of U.S. biomedical scientists.
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