Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
College of Arts and Sciences
New Mexico IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence
(December 9, 2014) The New Mexico IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence, which fosters biomedical- and community-based research excellence in the state of New Mexico, has received renewed funding from the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) of more than $18 million over the next five years. The network, which was developed in 2001, now includes several partners from across the state, with New Mexico State University serving as the lead institution. Director and NMSU College of Arts and Sciences Regents Professor Jeffrey Arterburn was honored during an NMSU Scholarly Excellence Rally Dec. 5. “The goal of the program is to advance biomedical research projects, address clinical disease, to provide collaboration opportunities for faculty and student researchers, to provide access to instrumentation, and for participants to publish papers making them competitive for other grants,” Arterburn said. “We are a statewide network.” To date, the program has received more than $60 million in funding.
The New Mexico INBRE supports multidisciplinary collaboration and resource sharing across biomedical- and community-based researchers, strengthens participants’ biomedical expertise and infrastructure, builds and increases institutional research base, supports research of faculty, postdoctoral and graduate students, provides outreach activities to students in the state network, and enhances science and technology knowledge of state’s workforce.
Participants are currently conducting research in various areas – among them brain and behavioral health; cancer, cardiovascular, and metabolic disease; child health; environmental health; and infectious diseases.
INBRE recently developed an exercise center at the Zuni Pueblo as part of an initiative to eliminate health disparities. The community suffers from several health disparities, including kidney disease and diabetes. “This was built on relationships established between NMSU and the Zuni Pueblo,” Arterburn said. “That was eye-opening to me. NIH officials visited the Zuni Pueblo and the Zuni governor emphasized how much they need this. We hope that in the next generation of the program, it spawns other collaborative community-based research initiatives to address more specific health care issues to improve lives.”
NMSU participants are Kevin Houston, chemistry; Becky Keele, nursing; Patricia Lodato, biology; Joe Song, computer science; and Timothy Wright, biology. “Mentoring is so important at all stages,” Arterburn said. “INBRE focuses on early career faculty and we pair them with experienced, established scientific mentors who understand the challenges and can help navigate the process. At this point, over 32 faculty from the INBRE program have received tenure.”
Partner institutions include the University of New Mexico, the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, the National Center for Genome Resources and New Mexico Tribal Colleges, among others. Participants benefit from mentoring, conference opportunities and grant writing and management skills. INBRE’s administrative staff at NMSU includes Laura Haas, operations and evaluation director; Shelley Lusetti, coordinator; Carolyn Bizzell, program manager; and undergraduate research assistant Shila Rimal.
–Article by Isabel A. Rodriguez, photo by Darren Phillips. See more at newscenter.nmsu.edu.
Program funded by a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, one of the National Institutes of Health.