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Partnerships for Biomedical Research in Arkansas

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PROJECT SUMMARY/ABSTRACT This proposal will continue to pursue the primary goals of the Arkansas IDeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) to expand biomedical research capacity in Arkansas. Building upon infrastructure developed during the earlier BRIN/INBRE phases, two research-intensive, lead institutions in the state?the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (UAF) will provide scientific leadership. The focus of the Developmental Research Project Program will be to expand the number of faculty at primarily undergraduate institutions (PUI) engaged in biomedical research. This will be accomplished by assisting PUIs with faculty recruitments, providing research funding, and supporting the career development of PUI faculty. Arkansas INBRE-supported research led by PUI faculty will be carried out in collaboration with their mentors at the lead institutions under the overall theme of Cellular Signaling, Growth, and Differentiation. The Administrative Core will provide operational support and coordinate all Arkansas INBRE activities, and the Outreach Core will broaden opportunities for undergraduate student participation in research. The accomplishments of undergraduate researchers across the state will be showcased at an annual conference attended by all Arkansas INBRE faculty and students. The Arkansas INBRE will continue its commitment to expand opportunities for underrepresented groups, partnering with the UAMS Center for Diversity Affairs and NIH-funded Initiative for Maximizing Student Development Program to increase the numbers of underrepresented students completing graduate degrees in the biomedical sciences. Communication among INBRE participants will be facilitated by a teleconferencing network and a Social Media Hub. The Bioinformatics Core will be a statewide research and educational resource to give undergraduate faculty and students access to the computational tools needed for multidisciplinary biomedical research and will continue to play a central role in training the next generation of bioinformaticians. The Arkansas INBRE will support a Research Technology Core that will provide PUI investigators access to sophisticated instrumentation and technical expertise difficult to establish at small institutions. In collaboration with the Oklahoma INBRE, the IDeA National Resource for Proteomics will provide IDeA investigators with proteomics data and access to core personnel for data interpretation and analysis, and it will offer annual workshops focused on training with cutting-edge proteomics techniques. Through further enhancement of research infrastructure, particularly at undergraduate institutions, the Arkansas INBRE will continue to improve the ability of academic researchers to make discoveries that improve human health, increase the number of undergraduate students who choose careers in biomedical research, and stimulate the growth of biotechnical industries in Arkansas.

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