UND medical school secures funding for research collaboration

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A team of researchers from the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences received funding for a one-year biomedical research project.

The researchers are affiliated with the IDeA Networks of Excellence in Biomedical Research in North Dakota, called INBRE. The grant is a collaborative award, and UND will work with researchers at United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, to provide students with the opportunity to study the underlying mechanisms of bladder cancer. The $ 140,000 grant comes from the National Institute of Health.

Emily Biggane, UTTC researcher, will work with Archana Dhasarathy, SMHS professor and coordinator of the school’s Epigenomics of Development and Disease Research core. Biggane, a UND graduate, said she was looking forward to the project.

“This collaboration strengthens the relationship between UTTC and UND and provides indigenous academics with unique opportunities to engage in biomedical research alongside their academic efforts at their home institution,” Biggane said. “Archana was one of the first professors I met during my graduate studies at UND, and I am delighted to continue to learn from her and share her expertise with my students.”

Dhasarathy said 83,000 cases of bladder cancer are expected to be diagnosed this year. The ability to partner with UTTC to fill knowledge gaps about the disease is needed to develop treatments.

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INBRE programs are funded by grants from the NIH. The program has the dual purpose of expanding research in member institutions, but also helps maintain the state’s health workforce pipeline, training high school and undergraduate students in the skills in biomedical research.

The North Dakota INBRE program is now in its 19th year and has received NIH funding for the next five years. In nearly two decades, the program has received more than $ 18 million in research opportunities for undergraduates. Over 20 UND professors and staff participate in the program.


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