K-INBRE Program Objectives (2009-2014)
The purpose of the Kansas INBRE (K-INBRE) is to strengthen the ability of Kansas researchers to compete effectively for NIH funds by building a "critical mass" of junior and senior investigators, as well as undergraduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows supported with cutting edge technology within a scientific research theme. The scientific research theme chosen for the K-INBRE is Cell and Developmental Biology. The program brings together NIH-funded mentors, trainees, and promising new investigators from each of the three Scientific Partner Institutions to drive forward a major statewide initiative to build Kansas strength in this critical life sciences research area. Because of geographic considerations in our large but sparsely populated state, emerging perceptions of the power of team science and the central issue of a skilled workforce, we focus on integration, communication, and training.
Aim 1: Maintain and improve the current multi-disciplinary research network in Cell and Developmental Biology in the State of Kansas, strengthening both communication channels and research career pathways. (Administrative Core, Communications Core)
To achieve this Aim, the K-INBRE Administrative Core proposes to continue its successful scientific focus on Cell and Developmental Biology, employing effective inter-campus communications strategies and emphasizing career pathways featuring trainee/mentor pairs and support for both trainees and faculty mentors. This application links research and training strengths in:
- Administrative and scientific leadership (KUMC, Lead Institution);
- Technical, research, and training expertise (KU-L and KSU, Graduate Partner Institutions, GPI); and
- Teaching and early science mentoring skills (7 Undergraduate Partner Institutions, UPI).
The Career Pathways Committee constitutes a newly focused effort of the Administrative Core that is expected to integrate more efficiently the functions of the previous Undergraduate Support Core and Awards committees, with an emphasis on trainee/mentor partnerships and oversight, as required by PAR-08-150. A seamless pathway to achieving career objectives incorporates undergraduate student through early investigator research support and is expected to continue increasing the workforce of biomedical researchers in the State of Kansas. Complementary to these training incentives, the proposed K-INBRE plans to continue supporting core facilities critical to both the training/mentoring of new researchers and the conduct of cutting edge research in Kansas such as flow cytometry, bioinformatics and gene modified experimental animal units.
Oversight Scientific interests are brought together through discussion within the required Network Steering Committee, which provides an avenue by which INBRE activities may be coordinated and provided with insight into effective policies for building research infrastructure in Kansas. Critical guidance has been and will continue to be provided by our exceptionally experienced and involved External Advisory Committee. In addition, the Kansas IDeA Committee, chaired by J. Hunt, P.I. of the K-INBRE, provides perspective on integration of biomedical research activities throughout Kansas.
The Communications Core is designed to maintain strong interactions throughout the network via the Polycom videoconferencing system linking the ten campuses; a web-based newsletter with current events, news and stories of students and researchers; and the K-INBRE Facebook page.
Aim 2: Enhance science and technology knowledge and integration in Kansas by offering sophisticated bioinformatics technology and education. (Bioinformatics Core)
The Kansas BRIN/INBRE facilitated the successful development of a central Bioinformatics Core on the KU-L main campus, satellite cores at Scientific Partner.
Specialty areas were identified in microarray/genomics at KUMC, proteomics at KU-L and lipidomics at KSU. In the present application, our Bioinformatics Core proposes to initiate a Systems Biology approach where research teams are encouraged to study several aspects of a problem via analysis of genomic, protein and post-translational modification pathways. This Core also provides outreach informational and technical capabilities to all campuses with an Outreach Specialist, and provides an avenue for transmission of formal coursework as well as symposia and meeting proceedings via the Polycom units. Further, this application includes a structure renovation proposal where the INBRE partners with a COBRE led by B. Timmermann (Center for Cancer Experimental Therapeutics, 5P20RR15563, 2000-2010) and the COBRE led by R. Hanzlik (Center in Protein Structure and Function, 5P20RR17708, 2002-2013) to expand the Bioinformatics Core’s ability to serve as a centralized data management and analysis conduit for various molecular, drug discovery and biochemical interrogation disciplines supported by the IDeA program of NCRR.
Aim 3: Improve translational research in the State of Kansas via exchange of basic and clinical scientist training opportunities. (Partnerships for Translational Research Training Core)
In this renewal proposal, establishment of a Partnerships for Translational Research Training Core recognizes the critical need forclinical/basic science training opportunities leading to improved bidirectional transfers between basic and clinical research expertise. The aim is to initiate and maintain avenues whereby scientific skills and knowledge essential to the performance of cutting edge translational research are transferred between partners, one from a basic science setting and one from a clinical setting. Educational programs and access to helpful cores and other facilities are included. The program is open but not limited to faculty pairs as well as individuals in training situations such as residents and post-doctoral fellows, who would be expected to partner with senior clinicians/scientists. Individuals from all K-INBRE campuses are encouraged to participate. The implementation of this plan is expected to facilitate the generation of new clinical and basic science strengths in Cell and Developmental Biology in the State of Kansas, and ultimately to contribute importantly to the development of new tools and strategies for improving human health.
The implementation of this plan facilitates the generation of new strength in Cell and Developmental Biology in the State of Kansas, and ultimately contributes importantly to the development of new tools and strategies for improving human health.