October 10, 2001

NIH Funds Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network at UA

October 10, 2001  NR 18-01

The University of Alaska has been awarded a grant, totaling $6 million over three years, to build biomedical research and its supporting infrastructure in Alaska. The grant award, funded through the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Program of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is intended to enhance biomedical research capacity among academic research institutions in Alaska. The ultimate purpose of the network is to build a selfsustaining research base that will lead to competitive research applications from multidisciplinary research teams.

The Alaska Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (BRIN) will be formed by linking the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Alaska Anchorage with other institutions in the state. The grant will fund two teaching/research faculty positions, one at UAF and one at UAA that focus on genomics and toxicology. In addition, BRIN will support a faculty position in Bioinformatics at UAF, and provide research instrumentation to bring state-of-the-art molecular genomics and protein biochemistry to Alaska. Funds will also be available to bring Outside scientists to Alaska for seminars and to send Alaskans to major research centers for special training. Students will be supported at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

The network’s research will focus on cellular mechanisms: emphasizing the ways in which contaminants in subsistence foods act on proteins and genes. BRIN will support a major initiative to create liaisons with other Alaska institutions, with Alaska Native groups, and with health researchers in other states. The Alaska-BRIN is one of 24 awards granted to states that have received less than $70 million in NIH funding on average from 1995 to 1999 or had an NIH grant award success rate of less than 20 percent over that time period. The principal investigator on this grant is Dr. George Happ of UAF with support from Dr. Gerry Plumley of UAF and Carl Hild of UAA.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Dr. George Happ, UAF, 907-474-5492
NR 18-01