UI-led Idaho Biomedical Research Network Lands $16.3 million, 5-year Renewal Grant

Thursday, June 12 2014

MOSCOW, Idaho – June 11, 2014 – The University of Idaho-led statewide biomedical research network will receive a $16.3 million, five-year renewal grant from the National Institutes of Health.
The network benefits hundreds of faculty and students from the state’s 10 higher educational institutions and the Boise VA Medical Center.

UI food science professor Carolyn Hovde Bohach directs the Idaho IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence, or INBRE. A university distinguished professor and microbiologist, Bohach is an expert in infectious disease and the relationship between E. coli bacteria and livestock.

The news of the renewal arrived at a good time. Bohach already planned an annual gathering and celebration with a hundred faculty, students and others Wednesday evening.

The director’s reception at Moscow is an event for 21 undergraduate students from across the state and the West who won network-funded summer research fellowships and their scientist mentors. Throughout Idaho some 100 INBRE-funded undergraduates will work as research fellows or industry interns with faculty mentors at all Idaho colleges and universities.

In 2001, the University of Idaho won the first of a series of competitive NIH grants to establish a biomedical research infrastructure network among the state’s universities. In 2004, the University of Idaho led an expanded coalition that won a $16 million INBRE grant. Another $16 million grant followed in 2009.

“The University of Idaho, as Idaho’s most active research institution, was uniquely qualified to lead the project,” Bohach said, noting that all of our partners played important roles in the network’s success.
Biomedical research capacity at all network institutions has increased significantly since the network began, Bohach said.

There have been significant shifts in campus culture to include or enhance biomedical research at Idaho State University, Boise State University, Northwest Nazarene University, Brigham Young University – Idaho, North Idaho College, College of Southern Idaho, College of Western Idaho, Lewis-Clark State College and the College of Idaho because of this program, she said. The Boise VA Medical Center also conducts research and trains students through the network and provides important clinical expertise.

Undergraduate students from across the state have become medical doctors and scientists with PhDs, many of them returning to Idaho to practice and conduct research, after participating in biomedical research, Bohach said.  The INBRE program ultimately improves the health of Idahoans and  others nationwide.

“The INBRE award reflects the creativity and dedication of the UI-led statewide team and its programs to increase biomedical research, a growing and vital field,” said Jack McIver, UI Vice President for Research and Economic Development.  “In addition, its robust undergraduate research emphasis enhances Idaho’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, education.”

The National Institutes of Health Institutional Development Award program builds research capacities in states that historically have had low levels of NIH funding by supporting basic, clinical and translational research; faculty development; and infrastructure improvements.
Carolyn Bohach
Idaho IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
(208) 885-7832
Bill Loftus
Science writer
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
(208) 885-7694

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit www.uidaho.edu.