Posted July 31, 2009
A record turnout of some 240 Idaho scientists and students involved in biomedical research will gather at Idaho State University Aug. 3-5 for a statewide conference.
The Idaho IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence will sponsor the conference. The 10 Idaho academic and research institutions participating in the National Institutes of Health Institutional Development Award-funded program celebrated the $16.5 million, five-year renewal of the grant in May.
"We're happy to see the large turnout for this year's conference," said Carolyn Hovde Bohach, the University of Idaho professor of microbiology who serves as Idaho INBRE director.
One factor in the large turnout may be a result of the program's five-year renewal that is bringing new faculty members from Idaho universities and colleges into the program and boosted enthusiasm.
"We're also excited to see that Boise State University and others are finding ways to help faculty and students participate in the program beyond what INBRE supports," Bohach added. Boise State will have the largest contingent with 49 participants, followed by host Idaho State with 37 and the University of Idaho with 31.
Other institutions participating in the network include North Idaho College, Lewis-Clark State College, The College of Idaho, Northwest Nazarene University, College of Southern Idaho, Brigham Young University – Idaho and the Boise VA Medical Center.
As a result of the renewal, new faculty members will be participating in the program's next generation. The network is designed to build the state's biomedical research capacity and the competitiveness of its researchers in winning NIH and other federal awards.
The INBRE program supports 45 undergraduate fellows who spent 10 weeks this summer in laboratories working with faculty mentors and doing biomedical research. The fellows and nearly a hundred other students ranging from freshmen to graduate students and post-doctoral fellows will attend the conference.
Bryne Rush, a North Idaho College student studying molecular biology, will be among the student fellows presenting their research at the conference. She worked in University of Idaho biology Prof. Deb Stenkamp's lab to investigate the effects of alcohol on eye development in zebrafish embryos. Her work could aid understanding of fetal alcohol syndrome.
Boise State senior Benjamin Davis worked in an Idaho State University lab this summer with biology Prof. Chris Cretekos to explore the processes that allow similar genes to produce a wing on a bat but a leg on a mouse.
Since the University of Idaho, Idaho State University, Boise State University and other schools and research centers first joined forces in 2001 to create a statewide biomedical research network, more than 500 students have won support and laboratory experience.
INBRE Contacts: Carolyn Hovde Bohach, INBRE director and University of Idaho microbiology professor, (208) 885-5906, email@example.com; or Bill Loftus, University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences science writer, (208) 885-7694, firstname.lastname@example.org; ISU Contacts: Chris Daniels, (208) 282-3324, director of the ISU Biomedical Research Institute and an ISU professor, or Victoria Bañales, (208) 282-1049, director of continuing educaiton.