Building Biomedical Research Opportunities in Genetics, Neurobiology, and Chemical Biology
On September 12, it was announced the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) South Carolina IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (SC INBRE) had received a grant totaling over $16 million for the next five years 2010-2015. The South Carolina INBRE is a network of academic institutions working together to enhance the biomedical research infrastructure and increase competitiveness of researchers in the state. This network includes the state's three comprehensive research institutions (the University of South Carolina, Clemson University and the Medical University of South Carolina) and seven predominantly undergraduate institutions (Claflin University, College of Charleston, Francis Marion University, Furman University, South Carolina State University, University of South Carolina at Beaufort and Winthrop University). Lucia Pirisi-Creek, Ph.D. of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine is the Principal Investigator of this statewide grant.
The theme of the College of Charleston project is "Building Biomedical Research Opportunities in Genetics, Neurobiology, and Chemical Biology." The INBRE investment will enable the College of Charleston to take the next significant step in its research development by enabling us to enhance our biomedical research community that is linked by ideas and methodologies. We will build upon our successes from the BRIN and the original INBRE programs by creating a synergy with a recently awarded Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) grant that provides support for curriculum development in neurobiology and chemical biology.
This proposal will provide for the needed complementary research support by providing summer salaries and released time to our faculty and summer stipends for undergraduate students. The HHMI program has an outreach component to precollege students, especially minorities, with which we will be actively involved. Our team of Target Faculty consists of three junior faculty members who have have clear potential for NIH funding: Anastasia Zimmerman, Ph.D. and Jeff Triblehorn, Ph.D. of the Department of Biology and Marcello Franconi, Ph.D. of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
Undergraduate students will participate in research projects designed and overseen by our Target Faculty. They will also participate in a summer seminar program on enhancing Biomedical Research skills that will improve their oral and written communication skills as well as give them instruction in scientific ethics and biomedical safety. Target Faculty will be writing grants to NIH. The College of Charleston will provide significant additional financial support for research time, administration, evaluation, supplies, and travel. Results will be reported via regular presentations at appropriate scientific meetings and published in peer-reviewed journals. The goal is to develop a self-sustaining community of biomedical researchers capable of garnering independent NIH support and to raise the competitive status of biomedical research at the College of Charleston. Jim Deavor, Ph.D. is the College of Charleston PI.