West Virginia is a State that has had a historically low success rate in obtaining grant awards from the National Institutes of Health and has been designated as an IDeA State. Marshall University (MU), in partnership with West Virginia University (WVU), was awarded an IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) award (WV-INBRE) to help develop biomedical research at WV primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs) and to enhance the pipeline of students from these PUIs entering the biomedical research field as a career. The current WV-INBRE renewal application will build on the successes of the existing program. To this end, MU, in partnership with WVU, will serve as lead institutions to a research network consisting of eleven undergraduate institutions. The multi-disciplinary research theme for this network will be cellular and molecular biology with an emphasis on cardiovascular disease and cancer. Four PUIs will house five major research projects and two PUIs will have Faculty Research Development Awards (FRDAs) for promising junior investigators. Five additional PUIs have biomedical researchers eligible for FRDAs. Collectively, these schools comprise the heart of the WV research network. Administrative, Bioinformatics and Genomic Cores have been established to facilitate the research progress, mentoring and training, and career development of scientists and students at the partner instutions. The successful community-based participatory research core Appalachian Cardiovascular Research Network (ACoRN) will be expanded. In addition, ties to WV COBREs will be strengthened and interactions with WV's Health Science Technology Academy (HSTA) program will be initiated. Programs are proposed to provide research opportunities for undergraduates students that will help serve as a pipeline for these students into health related research careers. Additional programs and support for PUI biomedical research investigators without major projects will be made available to strengthen their biomedical research potential. In addition, through providing numerous workshops, seminars, research training and mentoring, and access to state-of-the-art core facilities, WV-INBRE will help enhance the science and technology knowledge base of the WV workforce.
WV-INBRE sponsored research projects will investigate several human health issues including cardiovascular disease and cancer. Projects are also proposed that investigate issues related to drug biotransformation and infectious disease. An important thrust of this program is directed toward enhancing the pipeline of undergraduate students choosing a career in the biomedical science research field.
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