LSU receives grant from NIH to strengthen biomedical research infrastructure

LSU has received a $15 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, or NIH, IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence, or INBRE, program. The grant is centered in the School of Veterinary Medicine, or SVM, and the Department of Biological Science in the LSU College of Science. The purpose of this five-year grant is to strengthen the biomedical research infrastructure and work force within Louisiana. It is designed to connect predominantly undergraduate universities with biomedical research intensive universities such as LSU.

Dr. Thomas R. Klei of the SVM is the current principle investigator, and E. William Wischusen is the program coordinator. The Louisiana program, called the Louisiana Biomedical Research Network, or LBRN, was established in September 2000 with Biomedical Research Infrastructure Networks, or BRIN, funding from the NIH National Center for Research Resources grant. This $15 million grant was matched by a $1.2 million supplement from the Board of Regents.

The overall goal of this competitive grant is to facilitate the growth of biomedical research activities in the state. Previous funding enabled the LBRN to establish a strong foundation for interdisciplinary and inter-institutional research, education, training and mentoring programs. The LBRN programs are poised to increase the biomedical workforce within Louisiana and create a pipeline of needed future research scientists. The INBRE grant will provide research opportunities for an increasingly diverse pool of both graduate and undergraduate students and faculty and will encourage collaborative research activities.

The LBRN is committed to raising the research competitiveness of Louisiana researchers. IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence is the second phase of the BRIN program when LBRN initially started. Extensive research is conducted by faculty and undergraduate and graduate students at five primary undergraduate universities in the state, including Louisiana Tech University, LSU-Shreveport, Southern University, the University of Louisiana at Monroe and Xavier University.

Researchers and students at these schools are paired with mentors and collaborators at the state’s biomedical research intensive centers, including LSU, LSU Health Sciences Centers in Shreveport and New Orleans, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, the Tulane Medical Center and the Tulane National Primate Research Center. The program also includes an extensive summer research training program from undergraduates and includes students from 23 undergraduate institutions in the state.

Source: Louisiana State University

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