The total funding over five years is $18 million. The grant provides research-mentored fellowships to undergraduate students and faculty from predominantly undergraduate institutions, expands statewide resources for bioinformatics and hosts an annual research conference. The grant ensures the Arkansas program will reach 19 years of continuous NIH funding.
“It’s hard to overstate how important this funding is in building a biomedical research capacity across the state in a highly collaborative manner,” Lawrence Cornett, UAMS vice chancellor for research and principle investigator for the INBRE grant, said in a news release.
“The Arkansas INBRE program involves almost a dozen of the state’s largest universities working toward the same goal of encouraging interest in and supporting cutting-edge scientific research that, ultimately, benefits the state as a whole.”
Arkansas INBRE is funded under the NIH Intuitional Development Award Program, or IDeA, and stands for IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence. The UAMS-based program manages the initiative for partners across the state.
One of the program’s initiatives is 10-week summer mentored undergraduate research fellowships at the lead institutions. Since 2002, 161 undergraduates have participated in the summer fellowship, and more than 50 percent of those now work in research or medical-related careers. Nearly a quarter of undergraduate fellowship participants are in graduate school, and five are doing postdoctoral research. Four are now faculty members.