The Center of Biomedical Research Excellence for Research on Processes in Evolution at the University of Idaho is organized under the auspices of the Institute for Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Studies (IBEST). For the past 10 years, COBRE funding enabled IBEST investigators to conduct leading-edge interdisciplinary research in computational and evolutionary biology and to mentor early faculty to develop nationally competitive, independently-funded research programs. Faculty who graduate to independent funding remain in the highly collaborative community of IBEST. The Computational Resources Core and Genomics Resources Core facilities established as part of this COBRE provide a diverse array of advanced instrumentation and computational resources, as well as technical support to investigators. These core facilities currently support 28 funded projects. Thus, COBRE funding has had the intended effect of strengthening the institution's biomedical research capabilities and cultivating the supportive research environment needed to be competitive for external funding. Many of these projects are interdisciplinary collaborations between biologists and mathematicians, statisticians or computer scientists, and require the resources of both core facilities. Phase III has three Specific Objectives: 1. To complete these two research cores and to transition them to sustainability in a way that will continue to support the research of IBEST. 2. To support a Research Pilot Project Program, Technology Access Grants, and Travel and Collaboration Grants. The first two programs will enable faculty to generate preliminary data that will make them more competitive for external funding, and the third will enable them to initiate and/or develop collaborations that support research. 3. Through a new Strategic Plan, identify scientific opportunities through frequent interactions within IBEST and extensive interactions with the external scientific community. This final phase of COBRE funding, along with institutional investments in IBEST as a strategic Institute, will ensure our self-sustainability and maintain the infrastructure, climate, funding an personnel needed for a vibrant biomedical research program focused on processes of evolution.
The pathogens and parasites evolved in real time, leading to drug resistance, vaccine failures, host switching, and emergent diseases. These human health problems arise through evolutionary processes, so treatment, and prevention require an understanding of how organisms respond to selective pressure and what factures influence extant diversity and drive the tempo and trajectory of evolutionary processes.
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