Researchers at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy will receive more than $800,000 a year for five years in federal funding that will help strengthen a collaborative research program with UH Mānoa.

The IDeA Networks for Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) program in Hawaiʻi, which has been supported for more than 10 years by the National Institutes of Health, has recently received an additional $18.4 million over five years of support. The renewal allows the collaboration to continue expanding and improving biomedical research in Hawaiʻi.

John Pezzuto, dean of the College of Pharmacy, leads the UH Hilo effort, and works with UH Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine Principal Investigator Robert Nichols, professor of cell and molecular biology, and Program Coordinator David Easa.

“This is important because it’s a competitive renewal, which means the grant wasn’t automatically extended. We had to compete with top research facilities throughout the country,” Pezzuto said. “And because one of the focuses is on fostering biomedical careers among students, we can pay it forward for years to come.”

In addition to core functions and support for undergraduate research projects, the UH Hilo component of the grant will support studies being conducted in College of Pharmacy laboratories.

“The hope is that work conducted under the auspices of INBRE will be leveraged into larger projects supported by extramural funding agencies,” Pezzuto said.

The grant also supports projects and programs at outreach institutions Kapiʻolani Community College, Leeward Community College, UH Maui College and Windward Community College.

A UH Hilo news release