The National Institutes of Health awarded the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences a $10.6 million grant for biomedical research, the school announced Wednesday (Aug. 26).
UAMS said the money will “greatly expand” proteomics resources and will establish the IDeA National Resource for Quantitative Proteomics as the first NIH National Resource in Arkansas. It will also advance UAMS’s effort to receive a National Cancer Institute designation.
Proteomics is the large-scale study of proteins that can lead to the development of new therapies and screening approaches for many diseases, including cancer.
The five-year grant was awarded to Alan Tackett, Ph.D., associate director for basic science at the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. Tackett serves as an administrative director of this new national resource. Other key contributors at UAMS are Rick Edmondson, Ph.D.; Samuel Mackintosh, Ph.D.; and Stephanie Byrum, Ph.D.; as well as Michael Kinter, Ph.D., at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation who serves as a co-administrative director.
The national resource was initially created through the Arkansas INBRE (IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence), an NIH program that promotes biomedical research for undergraduate students and faculty. Lawrence Cornett, Ph.D., professor in the UAMS College of Medicine Department of Physiology and Biophysics, serves as principal investigator and director of Arkansas INBRE.
“With this new funding, we will transition our proteomics resource to an NIH National Resource and expand our ability to provide highly advanced research support to scientists in underfunded areas throughout the United States,” said Tackett, who holds the Scharlau Family Endowed Chair for Cancer Research at UAMS.
“Due to a lack of federal funding, it is often difficult for scientists in the IDeA Network to access the advanced instruments and trained personnel needed to analyze and interpret their research data. With this new funding, we will now be able to serve a diverse group of IDeA investigators for their research, which ranges from studies on model organisms to diseases such as cancer,” said Tackett, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology in the UAMS College of Medicine.
The expanded national resource will support researchers by providing highly advanced data analysis, outreach opportunities and education to scientists across the nation. The educational opportunities offered by the national resource include workshops that are designed to help faculty and student researchers across the nation better utilize proteomics in their research.