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Life Sciences

02/05/2015: NMSU biology professor Jiannong Xu, left, works with a student in his lab. (Photo by Darren Phillips)

NMSU biology professor Jiannong Xu, left, works with a student in his lab. (Photo by Darren Phillips)

New Mexico IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence

With recent extension of funding, the New Mexico IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (NM-INBRE) will continue to champion biomedical and community-based research excellence and discovery in the state and beyond. The NM-INBRE program was awarded more than $18 million from the National Institutes of Health to extend its operations for another 5 years.

The program has created and funded a network of researchers among 10 New Mexico institutions: NMSU (lead), the National Center for Genome Resources, Eastern New Mexico University, New Mexico Highlands University, New Mexico Tech, Northern New Mexico College, the Pueblo of Zuni, San Juan College, University of New Mexico, and Western New Mexico University. NM-INBRE supports its member institutions by providing research funding and mentoring to their faculty, connecting students to research training and internships, training researchers in grant-writing and management skills, funding their participation in scientific meetings and conferences, facilitating access to instrumentation, and facilitating collaboration opportunities across the U.S. NM-INBRE provides support for basic, clinical, and translational biomedical research. The program’s foci include the structure and function of biomolecules, cells and organisms, pathogens, bioinformatics and genomics, and community-based participatory research (CBPR).

NM-INBRE administration: Laura L. Haas (left), Program Operations and Evaluation Director; NMSU Regents Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Jeff Arterburn, Director and Principal Investigator; Carolyn Bizzell, Program Manager (Photo by Hamid Mansouri Rad). Not pictured: Shelley Lusetti, Program Coordinator.

NM-INBRE administration: Laura L. Haas (left), Program
Operations and Evaluation Director; NMSU Regents Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Jeff Arterburn, Director and Principal Investigator; Carolyn Bizzell, Program Manager (Photo by Hamid Mansouri Rad). Not pictured: Shelley Lusetti, Program Coordinator.

Institutions funded by the NM-INBRE also enjoy the support of genetic sequencing and bioinformatics collaborators with the National Center for Genome Resources based in Santa Fe, NM. During its 14-year history, NM-INBRE has supported 47 faculty in their research and professional development, resulting in 33 successful tenure applications. In addition, INBRE has trained 769 students, including PhD and postdocs. Moreover, NM-INBRE has garnered more than $89 million in NIH funding for participating institutions, from direct program funding and additional NIH grants. NM-INBRE has been developing research resources across New Mexico since 2001.

NMSU-Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Partnership

The collaboration between NMSU and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) started in 2002 and was initiated by Mary O’Connell, NMSU’s Regents Professor of Plant and Environmental Sciences. The goals of this program include enhancing NMSU’s expertise in cancer research by providing the faculty with research opportunities in basic science, as well as training NMSU’s underrepresented Hispanic students in cancer research. As a result of this program, NMSU students have the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research activities taking place at FHCRC and to pursue careers in cancer research after graduation.

Environmental Sciences and principal investigator of the NMSU-FHCR partnership (Photo by Hamid Mansouri Rad)

Environmental Sciences and principal investigator of the NMSU-FHCR partnership (Photo by Hamid Mansouri Rad)

NMSU/FHCRC partnership involves 9 researchers from FHCRC and 6 faculty researchers from NMSU’s colleges of Agricultural, Environmental and Consumer Sciences; Arts and Sciences; Health and Social Services, and Engineering. Current research activities supported by this partnership include a pilot project
where investigators Shirley Beresford (FHCRC), India Ornelas (University of Washington), and Kevin A. Lombard (NMSU) collaborate with New Mexico Navajo Nation in order to decrease cancer risk among the members of the Nation. Another pilot project led by Chris Kemp (FHCRC) and Amanda Ashley (NMSU) aims to study newly identified gene targets that would increase suppression of p53 mutant cancer cells exposed to Doxorubicin, a widely used chemotherapy agent for breast cancer.

This partnership currently supports two full research projects. In one, principal investigators Chris Li and Peggy Porter from FHCRC and NMSU’s Ryan Ashley aim to understand the influence of membrane-associated steroid receptors on multiple phases of breast cancer progression. In the second project, investigators Roger Brent (FHCRC) and Jessica Houston (NMSU) develop fluorescent lifetime methods to quantify signaling in living cells. Directed by Rebecca Palacios, NMSU’s associate professor of Public Health Sciences, and Beti Thompson, a member of the FHCRC’s cancer prevention program, the outreach component of the FHCRC/NMSU partnership disseminates research findings to the public and raises awareness about nutrition and lifestyle practices that could prevent cancer. This highly competitive award from NIH extends NMSU/FHCRC collaborations for another 5 years.

 

fhcrc a ashleyAmanda Ashley

Research Assistant Professor

Animal and Range Sciences

fhcrc r ashleyRyan Ashley

Assistant Professor

Animal and Range Sciences

fhcrc houstonJessica Houston

Assistant Professor

Chemical Engineering

fhcrc lombardKevin A. Lombard

Associate Professor

Agricultural Science Center at Farmington

fhcrc palaciosRebecca Palacios

Associate Professor

Public Health Sciences

04/30/2014: NMSU Teaching Academy staff fellow Michele Shuster. (NMSU Photo)Michelle Shuster

Associate Professor

Biology