The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation's ten-year COBRE, "Molecular Mechanisms and Genetics of Autoimmunity (GM 103456) has been transformative in providing the foundation for growth in understanding the molecular and genetic basis of autoimmune diseases in our state. This COBRE provided mentoring, funding and infrastructure support to launch multiple independent research careers and the awarding of "non-COBRE" program or center grants, greatly expanding the research base in Oklahoma. OMRF and Oklahoma can now legitimately claim to be a "Center" for Autoimmunity Genetics and Genomics in the United States. We now propose to develop to financial and operational independence two key research cores that were instrumental in our previous success. The Genomics core (formerly the Nucleic Acids Core) has been a component of this COBRE since it's beginning. Now equipped with next generation sequencing and high-throughput genotyping capability, this core generates the genomic data needed for the research projects of over 40 users. The Quantitative Analysis Core (QAC) was formed in year 10 through a merger of two existing cores, one focusing on statistics and the other on bioinformatics. The QAC provides COBRE investigators with access to an integrated group of data analysts, statisticians and bioinformaticists offering a full range of support from study design, power estimates, statistical analysis, and high dimensional data modeling. In addition to the research cores our COBRE Phase III supports Pilot Program and Administrative Cores. The pilot project core will identify, support and mentor COBRE eligible junior scientists through one year pilot projects. We view these pilot funds as a fundamental to our plans for the future of our genomics research base in Oklahoma. The Administrative core will provide administrative support to COBRE scientists, implement and expand multidisciplinary enrichment programs and evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot projects. OMRF will continue to partner with this COBRE through sustained and expanding support of salaries, capital equipment, laboratory space and faculty recruitment. We are confident that with Phase III COBRE support OMRF and Oklahoma will have an outstanding Genomics Center.
This OMRF COBRE has been very successful in identifying and facilitating junior investigators in developing independent scientific careers in Oklahoma. Partnering with OMRF institutional investments in renovations, physical space expansions, recruitment packages and shared equipment these COBRE funds have expanded mentoring programs and shared Core facilities which support OMRF COBRE investigators.