In November 2001 the University of Idaho (UI) received a three year $6 million award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to create a statewide biomedical research network between the UI, Idaho State University and Boise State University. This program was called BRIN for Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network. BRIN funds were used to enhance research facilities at the three universities, provide seed money for new research projects, graduate and undergraduate student support, faculty release time from teaching and supplement to research start-up costs. Our initial success was rewarded by two supplements totaling $2.3 million to continue these projects plus expanding the network to other colleges and universities throughout the state.
In July 2004 through a competitive review process the UI received a five year award of $16.1 million to expand the network and enhance opportunities for faculty and students at the other colleges and universities throughout Idaho. At that time, it was the largest grant for biomedical research in the state’s history. The scope of the project and the title changed to the Idea Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) Program. While BRIN focused on enhancing infrastructure at the three largest universities in Idaho, the INBRE Program was designed to provide greater research opportunities for faculty and students at every college and university in the state. Thus the complexity of the program, as well as the goals, increased several fold. The mission of INBRE was to increase the amount of NIH-funded biomedical research in Idaho. The vision of INBRE was to provide all faculty and students in Idaho who has an interest in biomedical research the opportunity to pursue that goal in the state. In pursuit of our mission and vision we established several overlaying projects and networks throughout the state.
In July 2008 a five hundred page proposal (pictured left) was submitted to NIH for competitive review . In April 2009, UI received an additional five year award of $16.5 million. The INBRE Program again holds the designation of being the largest grant for biomedical research in the state’s history. Five specific aims were developed to enhance the established Idaho Network by strengthening the programs that have been especially productive in research, bioinformatics, capacity building, and science education.
The five specific aims are:
Specific Aim 1: To strengthen Idaho’s biomedical research infrastructure and expertise by building on the established INBRE Network.
Specific Aim 2: To provide support to Idaho faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students to increase the research base and capacity.
Specific Aim 3: To provide research opportunities to Idaho undergraduate students and serve as a pipeline for these students to continue in health research careers.
Specific Aim 4: To enhance the science and technology knowledge of Idaho’s workforce.
Specific Aim 5: To expand Idaho research opportunities across the Western IDeA Region.