The Idaho BRIN Program has had a profound effect on biomedical research at every level and in all regions of the state. In the brief eighteen month period since the BRIN Program was implemented in Idaho, a network of research core facilities now enables researchers from all parts of the state to have access to state-of-the-art technology. This has fostered new inter-disciplinary research collaborations between faculty at the University of Idaho, Idaho State University, and Boise State University. Such inter-institutional collaborations are unprecedented in the history of Idaho, and have allowed us to focus on a single statewide theme for biomedical research, Cell Signaling.
Bioinformatics, a research tool used sparsely prior to BRIN, is now applied extensively as a result of new facilities, targeted training sessions and undergraduate and graduate level courses. BRIN has enabled us to assemble an educational pipeline, beginning at K-12 levels, and continuing through college and graduate schools, while offering progressively greater research experiences at each level. The INBRE Program would allow us to build on these successes, and extend the Network to undergraduate colleges and institutions throughout the state.
The INBRE Program will continue the three cores established under BRIN: Administrative, Bioinformatics, Research, plus add a fourth Outreach Core. These cores will support five fundamental goals:
1) To continue to build an interdisciplinary research network under the theme of Cell Signaling;
2) To support a Network of Research Partners consisting of colleges with developing research missions;
3) To expand the Outreach Core and enhance science education and training at undergraduate colleges; and
5) To create an educated workforce that will sustain a developing biomedical industry in Idaho.
All network universities, colleges, and institutions recognize the BRIN and INBRE Programs as a unique opportunity to build Idaho's research infrastructure so that our faculty can become more competitive for NIH awards. But our approach is designed to build a lasting change in the biomedical research culture in Idaho, reaching to the next generation of researchers and to the public. We anticipate that by the end of the INBRE Program the fundamental changes being made in Idaho's biomedical research enterprise will be sustainable, so that support from infrastructure programs such as INBRE will no longer be necessary.