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$18.4 million to fund Hawaii Statewide Research and Education Partnership

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Tina Shelton, (808) 692-0897
Director of Communications, Office of Dean of Medicine
Posted: Oct 7, 2013

Robert Nichols, David Easa, Helen Turner, Kari Kim, Mari Rayner, John Chen, Stephen Itoga.
Robert Nichols, David Easa, Helen Turner, Kari Kim, Mari Rayner, John Chen, Stephen Itoga.

The John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) on the UH Mānoa campus has been awarded $18.4 million over five years for a Hawai`i Statewide Research and Education Partnership (HISREP) under the IDeA Networks for Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) program at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Principal Investigator is Dr. Robert Nichols; Program Coordinator is Dr. David Easa.

The Hawai`i INBRE program has been supported for over 10 years by the National Institutes of Health and has recently received an additional five years of support. The current grant will be devoted to fostering biomedical careers among students at partner institutions, which include the University of Hawai'i at Hilo College of Pharmacy, Chaminade University, Hawai`i Pacific University, and the UH community colleges (Kapi'olani CC; Windward CC; Leeward CC; Hawai'i CC; Maui College; Kaua`i CC).

In the previous round of INBRE funding, development of state-of-the-art facilities and support for entry-level junior investigators were provided at primarily undergraduate-based partner institutions in order to help create a foundation where students can participate in cutting-edge biomedical research. A major emphasis for the research among partners is to bank on the unique resources in Hawai'i with respect to marine and plant life for discovery of natural products with potential application as biomedicines. A second emphasis will be to investigate health disparities arising in Hawaiʻi's unique and highly diverse population.

According to Principal Investigator Nichols, "Students in our program, who may, in fact, be the first in their family to attend college, now have the exciting opportunity to pursue biomedical research as a career.  In conjunction with activities in the basic and clinical sciences -- including our other IDeA program Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBREs) in Cardiovascular Research, Infectious Disease and Reproductive Biology, our Research Center for Minority Institutions (RCMI), our RCMI Clinical Translational Research Center (RCTR RMATRIX) and our Center for Native and Pacific Health Disparities Research (CNPHDR) -- INBRE III-HISREP will help nurture the next generation of biomedical scientists across our islands."


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