The overall objective of the ?Kansas Institute for Precision Medicine? (KIPM) COBRE at the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) is to advance the customization of healthcare through promoting innovative scientific discoveries. The KIPM COBRE will provide support to advance the mission of KUMC through innovative mentoring and training programs with a precision medicine theme. The KIPM COBRE will also strengthen the biomedical research capacity within our region by enhancing the research base and infrastructure/core capacities. To accomplish this, the KIPM COBRE proposes the following Specific Aims:
Specific Aim 1. Recruit and mentor a group of outstanding junior investigators in diverse disciplines with different disease focus areas that have a common theme directed toward precision medicine. In a rigorous pre-selection process, five promising junior investigators (and two alternative investigators) were selected from nearly 20 applicants, all of which had a research theme directly related to precision medicine. Decisions were based on the content of research proposals and training potential that were evaluated by our leadership team (including the three PIs of the proposed COBRE, the senior leadership at KUMC including the Dean, department chairs, and past PIs of COBREs within KUMC). Each applicant has been assigned at least one internal and one external mentor with expertise related to their area of study. All COBRE faculty candidates contributed to discussions regarding infrastructure necessary to enhance their projects via one-on-one meetings with the PIs and research core directors were formed based in infrastructure needs to enhance their research capacity.
Specific Aim 2. To develop the scientific, technical, mentoring and collaborative infrastructure for a cohesive and sustainable program in precision medicine. Relying on additional expertise afforded by our Internal Advisory Committee (IAC), the External Advisory Committee (EAC), and an interactive mentoring program, we will continue to guide and mentor the next generation of translational scientists to advance molecular medicine in the 21st century with a thematic focus on precision medicine. Four shared resources, i.e., Administrative, Biomedical Engineering (BME), Biobanking and Biomarker Validation (BBV), and Quantitative `Omics' (QO) Cores, will be developed to assist the projects and serve the extended research community in Kansas and beyond.
Specific Aim 3. To foster and enhance collaborations between basic scientists and clinicians and facilitate translational research directed toward the development of biomarkers, new diagnostics and/or treatments for human disease. Pilot research projects funded by the School of Medicine, the Departments of Internal Medicine and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and the NCI-designated KU Cancer Center, will provide opportunities to identify both senior and junior investigators within our institute to expand the breadth and depth of research in the fields of precision medicine.
Precision medicine holds promise for enhancing best care options at the patient level, thereby closing disparity gaps (caused by inefficient or non-tailored, ?one size fits all? therapies) leading to immediate and meaningful impact on population health. The Kansas Institute for Precision Medicine proposed through COBRE funding will provide promising junior investigators, a focused mentoring experience that will help them mature into independently-funded investigators who will contribute to the advancement and clinical realization of precision medicine.