News Release

Thursday, October 1, 2009

NIH Grants $152 Million in Institutional Development Awards

Nine INBRE Awards Enhance Research Infrastructure, Foster Collaboration.

The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), part of the National Institutes of Health, announced today it will provide up to an estimated $152 million over the next five years to fund Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) in nine IDeA-eligible states. By promoting the development, coordination and sharing of research resources and expertise, these awards expand research opportunities and increase the number of competitive investigators in 23 eligible states and Puerto Rico. The INBRE is a component of the IDeA program, which is designed to improve the competitiveness of investigators in states that historically have not received significant levels of NIH research funding.

The lead institutions for statewide networks receiving this second phase of five-year funding are the Marshall University Research Corporation, Montana State University, Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, University of Louisville, University of North Dakota, University of Puerto Rico, University of Rhode Island, University of South Dakota and University of Wyoming. INBRE grants aim to enhance biomedical research capacity, expand and strengthen the research capabilities of biomedical faculty, and provide access to biomedical resources for promising undergraduate students throughout the eligible states.

"IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence promote the development and sharing of resources and expertise at institutions in underserved states," said NCRR Director Barbara Alving, M.D. "This funding will enable the continued expansion of biomedical research and training that will lead to insights on health issues central to their needs."

Through the IDeA program, NCRR supports institutions and communities in 23 states and Puerto Rico with grants that fund multiple areas of biomedical research and reach out to diverse populations. INBRE funding enables academic health centers to:

  • build and strengthen the lead and partner institutions’ biomedical research expertise and infrastructure;
  • support faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students through career development and training in research at the participating institutions;
  • provide research opportunities for undergraduate students and serve as a pipeline for undergraduate students to continue in health research careers within IDeA states;
  • provide outreach activities to students at undergraduate institutions, community colleges and tribal colleges participating in the state’s network; and
  • enhance science and technology knowledge of the state's workforce.

INBRE provides researchers and students in underserved communities with access to biomedical resources. The Montana INBRE for example, is a dynamic biomedical network of six baccalaureate institutions, two universities and seven tribal colleges. Employing 16 mini-grants, the tribal colleges have acquired research supplies, lab equipment and funding for faculty development and student research. The second phase of funding will help the tribal colleges develop their own on-site research projects to address issues specific to their communities.

INBRE has been a catalyst for transformations in research competitiveness. Over the past five years, the Montana INBRE has introduced biomedical research opportunities to 675 undergraduate and graduate students and more than 2,000 elementary and high school students across Montana. In Maine, INBRE-supported faculty enjoyed a 42 percent success rate when applying for federal research grants, bringing millions of federal research dollars into Maine.

For full descriptions of the following networks, visit

Marshall University Research Corp. (Huntington, W.Va.)
$17.3 million
West Virginia IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence
Principal Investigator: Gary Rankin, Ph.D.

Montana State University (Bozeman)
$17.5 million
Montana Network for Biomedical Research Excellence
Principal Investigator: Allen G. Harmsen, Ph.D.

Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (Salisbury Cove, Maine)
$18.4 million
Comparative Functional Genomics INBRE in Maine
Principal Investigator: Patricia H. Hand, Ph.D.

University of Louisville (Ky.) 
$15.2 million 
KY-IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence
Principal Investigator: Nigel G. Cooper, Ph.D.

University of North Dakota (Grand Forks)
$15.9 million
North Dakota INBRE: Health and the Environment
Principal Investigator: Donald Sens, Ph.D.

University of Puerto Rico (San Juan)
$17.6 million
Advancing Competitive Biomedical Research in Puerto Rico
Principal Investigator: Fernando A. Gonzalez, Ph.D.

University of Rhode Island (Kingston) 
$17.3 million
Rhode Island Network for Molecular Toxicology 
Principal Investigator: Zahir A. Shaikh, Ph.D.

University of South Dakota (Vermillion)
$16.1 million
South Dakota Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network
Principal Investigator: Barbara E. Goodman, Ph.D.

University of Wyoming (Laramie)
$17 million
UW Northern Rockies Regional INBRE
Principal Investigator: Jun Ren, M.D., Ph.D.

For more general information about the IDeA program, visit

The National Center for Research Resources, part of NIH, provides laboratory scientists and clinical researchers with the resources and training they need to understand, detect, treat and prevent a wide range of diseases. NCRR supports all aspects of translational and clinical research, connecting researchers, patients and communities across the nation. For more information, visit

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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