Since 2014, AK INBRE 3 has enhanced the research capacity of developing faculty and investigators throughout its network of University of Alaska universities by awarding pilot research grants, providing salaries to technicians, training of post-doctoral scientists and graduate and undergraduate students, and supporting travel, science advising, and equipment purchases. AK INBRE 3 provided support for bioinformatics and biostatistical analyses to network investigators through building local capacity in genomics, distributing service awards for DNA sequencing, data analysis, and networking with national bioinformatics centers, and supporting three summer workshops for advancing lab and computational skills. This support has been instrumental in increasing the number of independent NIH R-series awards to investigators in the network from 7 to 17 and total annual NIH funding to Alaska from $9.5 to $21.2M. Four developing faculty transitioned to independent status. To enhance translational and clinical research and strengthen its focus on Alaska Native health research as part of its research theme of One Health, AK INBRE 3 expanded its network in 2017 to include two Tribal health organizations, the Southcentral Foundation and the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. AK INBRE 3 led statewide summits for the coordination of relevant curriculum development and provided support for new and augmented biomedical courses throughout the UA system. AK INBRE 3 supported research experiences for 100 undergraduate students in biomedical laboratories and proposes for AK INBRE 4 a new partnership with the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program to increase the number of Alaska Native students pursuing careers in biomedical and behavioral health research. AK INBRE 3 developed an effective administrative core with capable leadership distributed across its network and transparent, merit-based mechanisms for distribution of support. It has helpful and committed advisory committees with national representation. AK INBRE 3 led efforts for the coordination of planning and sharing of resources with other infrastructure and diversity programs in Alaska with common goals of enhancing the health of people and communities and promoting workforce development in Alaska and the nation. In a time of economic stress, the University of Alaska has recruited 29 faculty with programs in biomedical and behavioral research and is committing substantial institutional support for investing in their development and the retention of successful investigators achieving independent researcher status through a Sustaining Research Excellence Core proposed for AK INBRE 4. An award for continuing the INBRE program will be crucial to building on the initial success of the new partnerships and sustaining the momentum of growth recently seen in biomedical and behavioral research in Alaska.

Public Health Relevance

Alaska INBRE 4 ? OVERALL NARRATIVE The Alaska IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence 4 (AK INBRE 4) program invests in growing and enhancing the capacity of biomedical and behavioral health researchers in Alaska for improving the health and well-being of Alaskans and the nation. The program supports increasing and diversifying the pipeline of students seeking careers in biomedical research in Alaska. Through its One Health research theme and focus on health disparities in Alaska Native people, AK INBRE 4 emphasizes the importance of recognizing interconnections among the health of people, animals, and the environment to sustain healthy communities during a time of rapid change in the northern-most state.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1)
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Caldwell, Sheila
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University of Alaska Fairbanks
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