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Arkansas Integrative Metabolic Research Center


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Project Summary for Overall Section of the Arkansas Integrative Metabolic Research Center (AIMRC): The University of Arkansas - Fayetteville (U of A) is the flagship campus of the State of Arkansas, but does not have active NIH COBRE funding on campus. A clear strength in biomedical research has emerged organically on campus, with the majority of NIH funding at the U of A involving research on cell and tissue metabolism. This collection of NIH-funded researchers on campus will initiate and develop a cross-disciplinary research center at the University of Arkansas titled, the Arkansas Integrative Metabolic Research Center (AIMRC). Dr. Kyle Quinn, an established leader in the field of metabolic imaging and biomedical optics, with ongoing collaborations with the other NIH-funded metabolic researchers on campus will direct the center. The scientific theme of the AIMRC is to understand the role of cell and tissue metabolism in disease, development, and repair through research involving advanced imaging, bioenergetics, and data science. By elucidating the complex relationship between metabolism and different disease states using established bioenergetics assays, advanced label-free imaging technology and cutting-edge data science approaches, novel therapeutic targets and mechanistic insights can be identified to establish new treatment approaches for a variety of diseases. The AIMRC will have an administrative core, three research cores, and four research projects led by junior investigator Project Leaders. The Administrative Core will coordinate center activities, oversee the recruitment and mentoring of junior faculty, and coordinate a Pilot Project Program. The AIMRC will invest in existing state-of-the-art microscopy service centers on campus to establish an Imaging and Spectroscopy Core focused on label-free metabolic imaging and spectroscopy. A Bioenergetics Core will employ state-of-the-art live cell metabolic assay platforms in conjunction with established flow cytometry tools to provide quantitative insights into the mitochondrial and metabolic health of the cells. A Data Science Core will also be established by leveraging our high-performance computing resources and expertise on campus to assist researchers with analyzing, integrating, and synthesizing large datasets generated by the research cores and center members. The AIMRC will support four junior faculty members to lead Research Projects to study different aspects of cell and tissue metabolism that include: understanding the mechanisms of breast cancer innervation, evaluating the effects of post-translational modifications in breast cancer, evaluating the effect of methionine metabolism in melanoma, and elucidating cell signaling and mitochondrial dynamics during epithelial morphogenesis. The near-term goal is to follow a center organization and management plan to establish the foundation of the center by recruiting, developing, and mentoring junior investigators. Ultimately, we plan to grow the center to a critical mass of researchers that sustains the center and allows it to be competitive for a wide range of extramural support in metabolic research.

Collapse sponsor award id
P20GM139768


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Collapse Time 
Collapse start date
2021-04-01

Collapse end date
2026-02-28