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New $17 million grant to boost Idaho’s biomedical research, workforce

May 16, 2019

MOSCOW – A statewide network of Idaho’s educational institutions, led by the University of Idaho and including Idaho State University, received a five-year, $17 million award to build Idaho’s growing biomedical workforce and strengthen research infrastructure.

The funds, received through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Program from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, will continue research on advances in areas including new antibiotics, brain trauma, safety issues with e-cigarettes, cancer therapeutics and improvements for wound healing.

The Idaho IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (Idaho INBRE), comprises a network of 11 state institutions: the University of Idaho, Boise State University, Brigham Young University-Idaho, The College of Idaho, College of Southern Idaho, College of Western Idaho, Idaho State University, Idaho Veterans Research and Education Foundation, Lewis-Clark State College, North Idaho College and Northwest Nazarene University.

“Idaho INBRE has been the primary driver of biomedical research advancement statewide,” said Carolyn Hovde Bohach, Idaho INBRE director and university distinguished professor in U of I’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. “Through previous NIH INBRE awards and support from the participating schools, Idaho has expanded the breadth and capabilities of its core research facilities, built a pipeline of biomedical research and education opportunities for students, and dramatically increased the number of faculty participating in biomedical projects and collaborating across Idaho and the Western region.”

“Idaho INBRE has provided research opportunities to more than 2,900 undergraduate students, 390 graduate students and 33 postdoctoral fellows to support the biomedical research field,” said Ginger E. Carney, dean at U of I’s College of Science, which houses the Idaho INBRE program. 

Rhena Cooper, microbiology professor at North Idaho College and director of the INBRE Student Program, helps ensure a consistent statewide research and professional development experience for INBRE students.

“INBRE has been pivotal in the research development of our students,” Cooper said. “It is a turning point for most students because it is their first intense research experience.”

Idaho INBRE has been awarded more than $60 million since 2001, not including this new award, to help expand biomedical research capacity at U of I and member institutions. 

The program also serves as an economic driver, with $10.3 million in funding given to faculty statewide in the form of research seed grants. That investment resulted in more than $108.7 million in new grants, a tenfold return.

“Idaho INBRE has had a tremendous impact on biomedical research across the state,” said Janet E. Nelson, vice president for research and economic development at U of I. “The program has enhanced Idaho’s research infrastructure through support of a statewide research development network. We are very excited to build on these successes.” 

“Carolyn Bohach is the perfect example of a modern agricultural researcher and educator, tirelessly working to build Idaho’s biomedical research and education capabilities through the National Institutes of Health grants shared by all of the state’s universities and colleges,” said Michael Parrella, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences dean at U of I. “Her research helps us better understand how E. coli threatens our food supply.”

Bohach’s project, “Idaho INBRE-4 Program,” is funded under the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P20GM103408. The total anticipated amount of federal funds for the project is $17,088,792, which amounts to 100 percent of the total cost of the project. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.






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