Five years of support are requested to establish a program for development of junior faculty with research interests in Protein Structure and Function, with the goal of enabling them to become fully competitive for NIH grant support. Four Ph.D.-granting institutions in Kansas are participating, including KU-Lawrence, K-State University, KU-School of Medicine, and Wichita State University. The Principal Investigator, co-investigator, and a strong group of established, NIH-funded faculty, along with outstanding scientists on an External Advisory Committee (EAC), will provide mentoring and assistance to new faculty, not only in establishing highly competitive research programs in the study of protein structure and function but in their overall development as academic scientists. Individual mentoring plans with specific milestones form the basis for the development program. This will be supplemented with a seminar series by prominent scientists alternating with research presentations by COBRE investigators and workshops dealing with technical aspects of protein analysis, publishing, grant writing, and lab management. One administrative and two scientific Cores will be established to administer the program and provide high caliber technical expertise and instrumentation. Protein Structure and Function was selected as a theme because (1) detailed understanding of proteins is the next great challenge in overcoming diseases, (2) a strong cadre of senior faculty in Kansas are working in this area, and (3) current and future hiring plans for new faculty throughout the State of Kansas emphasize studies in protein structure and function. This focus on multi-disciplinary research on proteins enables us to capitalize on recent University investments in research infrastructure, and to obtain substantial institutional support for the proposed program in the form of FTEs, new research instrumentation, and space. Six faculty have been selected for 2-3 years of support, based on scientific merit, relevance for the COBRE theme, potential to benefit from the mentoring program and the Core labs, and likelihood of developing their project to compete successfully for NIH grants in the future. Progress toward the goals of the Program will be monitored by self-study and by Internal and External Advisory Committees; the latter will also review proposals and applications from new junior faculty for COBRE support.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRR1-RI-A (03))
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University of Kansas Lawrence
Schools of Pharmacy
United States
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