Program Objectives (2014-2019)

The purpose of the Kansas INBRE (K-INBRE) is to strengthen the ability of Kansas researchers to compete effectively for NIH funds by building a “critical mass” of junior and senior investigators, as well as undergraduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows supported with cutting edge technology within a scientific research theme. The scientific research theme chosen for the K-INBRE is Cell and Developmental Biology. The program brings together NIH-funded mentors, trainees, and promising new investigators from each of the three Scientific Partner Institutions to drive forward a major statewide initiative to build Kansas strength in this critical life sciences research area. Because of geographic considerations in our large but sparsely populated state, emerging perceptions of the power of team science and the central issue of a skilled workforce, we focus on integration, communication, and training.

Aim 1: Maintain and improve the current multidisciplinary research network in Cell and Developmental Biology in the State of Kansas, strengthening both communication channels and research infrastructure

The K-INBRE Administrative Core will continue its successful scientific focus on Cell and Developmental Biology, employing effective intercampus communications and provide oversight of statewide funding opportunities. Within the Administrative Core, the Incentives & Awards Committee will oversee awards that improve infrastructure and support to researchers, and the Undergraduate Research Office will oversee undergraduate research that will train a new workforce for Kansas.

The Communications Core enhances strong interactions throughout the network via videoconferencing links on all ten campuses and electronic distribution of current events and research news. This application includes structural renovation proposals on four of our PUI’s that will enhance research opportunities on these campuses.

Aim 2: Enhance science and technology knowledge and integration in Kansas by offering sophisticated bioinformatics technology and education

The K-INBRE continues to facilitate successful implementation of the Bioinformatics Core on the KSU campus, with satellite cores at KUMC and KU-L, which represent the GPI. New emerging strengths in Cell and Developmental Biology that require enhanced genomics bioinformatics have lead to a restructuring of the Bioinformatics Core and new focus on genomics biology. The Bioinformatics Core provides outreach for informational and technical capabilities to all campuses.

Aim 3: Stimulate basic and translational research in the State of Kansas via mentored, interdisciplinary research opportunities

A new core, the Developmental Research Project Core incorporates three of our successful mentored training programs, including a Developmental Research Project Program (previously the Major Starter Grants), our Partnerships for Translational Research Training Program that stimulates clinical and basic science crosstraining, and our Postdoctoral Program. Each program requires strong mentoring to assist faculty and postdocs to develop new tools for their research and career advancement. The Aim will:

1. promote the development of multidisciplinary developmental research projects,

2. promote avenues whereby scientific skills and knowledge essential to translational research are transferred between partners, one from a basic science setting and one from a clinical setting, and

3. support promising postdoctoral fellows as they advance in their careers.

The implementation of this plan facilitates the generation of new strength in Cell and Developmental Biology in the State of Kansas, and ultimately contributes importantly to the development of new tools and strategies for improving human health.