The main purpose of this IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) proposal is to continue to enhance institutional capacity for biomedical and behavioral research in the state of Rhode Island. The University of Rhode Island (URI) is the lead institution, with six partner institutions forming the network. The administrative, bioinformatics, and centralized equipment facility cores at URI will coordinate the four central goals of the next phase: 1) Continue and improve faculty development and mentoring;2) Recruit and train undergraduate and graduate fellows;3) Provide access to state-of-the-art equipment and bioinformatics resources;and 4) Develop new initiatives and collaborations with other infrastructure development programs in the state. Achievement of these goals will be accomplished by collaborative efforts of 19 participating faculty investigators in the network who will carry out research and educational objectives in the focus areas of molecular toxicology, cell biology, and behavioral science. Newly created faculty development programs include research-based collaborative projects and education-based student training initiatives. Proposed projects will focus on a variety of heath-related issues including cancer, neurological diseases, drug metabolism, infectious diseases, tissue regeneration, and the effects of environmental toxins on human health. A new emphasis in bioinformatics, strengthened by increased material and personnel support, will substantially improve the data mining and processing capabilities of biomedical scientists in the state. A productive summer undergraduate research fellowship program, in which students are given rich experiential training in biomedical research methods and career counseling, will be continued. A new collaborative highschool outreach program is planned to provide hands-on research experience for area high school science teachers. It is anticipated that meeting these and other proposed objectives in the next phase of the Rl-INBRE program will continue to have a profound and measurable positive impact on the culture for biomedical and behavioral research and education in the State of Rhode Island.
The proposed research will address a broad range of human health issues. Examples of these include: studies on causes and diagnosis of cancer, neurological diseases, metabolism of drugs and liver disease, parasitic human diseases, regeneration of damaged tissue, and impact of environmental toxins on human health.
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