School of Medicine receives $6 million grant

School of Medicine receives $6 million grant The University of South Dakota School of Medicine has recently been awarded one of 24 grants for a Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (BRIN) by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The grant is worth approximately $6 million over three years.

The BRIN award is funded through the NIH Institutional Development Award (IdeA) Program. Its goal is to enhance research capacity among academic and biomedical research institutions located in states that have not fully participated in NIH grant funding in the past.

The grant will be administered by Dr. Barbara E. Goodman, director of Special Programs and Science Education at USD. Goodman will work in consultation with a steering committee of representatives from all components and institutions involved, and a national advisory committee will provide input regarding scientific directions.

"BRIN has already started some possibilities for scientific collaborations among faculty and students from Augustana College, Black Hills State University, Sisseton-Wahpeton Community College and The University of South Dakota School of Medicine," said Goodman. "I have visited each of the partner institutions and we are all excited about the possibilities that BRIN will provide for South Dakota scientists and students."

According to Goodman, the grant will benefit South Dakota in various ways, including establishment of a new statewide core laboratory for the study of genes and proteins in Vermillion. Funding will enable the Med School to develop a new critical mass of investigators in the area of control of cell growth and to recruit new faculty members by supporting current research faculty members at USD, Augustana College and Black Hills State University.

The grant will assist the biomedical research faculty at the USD School of Medicine by providing research resources for students and faculty, providing for a joint seminar program, supporting faculty exchanges among the institutional partners, encouraging graduate and undergraduate students with research interests in cell studies and supporting partner undergraduate and faculty fellowships to enhance research skills.

BRIN will also provide financial support for enhancing bioinformatics components connecting the four institutions by allowing for the expansion of library resources, improvements in satellite or Internet connectivity, and enhancing local resources for bioinformatics.

A high school component of BRIN will be facilitated by the recruitment of an additional faculty member in secondary science education at the USD School of Education. In order to assist with the improvement of science education in South Dakota high schools, BRIN will initiate two-week summer science institutes with high school teachers and some of their students for modeling innovative teaching technologies for the science classroom.

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