Montana INBRE Fact Sheet
The MT INBRE is a five-year (2009-2014) Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) to build the research capacity in states currently receiving relatively little NIH funding. Extending the three-year (2001-2004) BRIN (Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network) Program and the first five-year (2004-2009) INBRE program, this award continues to focus on enhancing biomedical education and research opportunities for faculty and students in the Montana Network.
MT INBRE has four specific aims:
- Mentor and develop the growing number of infectious disease, environmental health, and health disparities investigators at principally undergraduate institutions, tribal colleges, and the state's two research universities to sustain and grow an even more productive and competitive biomedical research network.
- Develop and support community-based participatory research (CBPR) initiatives led by Montana tribal colleges working in collaboration with tribal communities and health boards on Montana Indian reservations to develop the infrastructure needed to reduce health disparities in Native American communities.
- Strengthen the state's biomedical and bioinformatics infrastructure through continued development of shared facilities, research collaborations, focused working groups, and training opportunities.
- Expand research opportunities for students and enhance biomedical curricula from K-12 through college and graduate education to strengthen the pipeline to careers in health research and increase the scientific and technological knowledge of the state's workforce.
The statewide network includes two Ph.D. institutions, six baccalaureate colleges, and seven tribal colleges: Montana State University-Bozeman, the lead institution; University of Montana-Missoula, Montana State University-Billings, Montana State University-Northern, University of Montana-Western, MT Tech of the University of Montana, Rocky Mountain College, Carroll College, Blackfeet Community College, Chief Dull Knife College, Fort Belknap College, Fort Peck Community College, Little Big Horn College, Salish Kootenai College, and Stone Child College.
Twenty-seven research projects are under way in the MT INBRE, with investigators located at MSU-Billings, Rocky Mountain College, UM-Western, MT Tech of the UM, MSU, Blackfeet Community College, Fort Peck Community College, Salish Kootenai College, Stone Child College, and Carroll College. Projects focus on emerging infectious diseases and environmental health and include investigations into the ecology of reservoirs and transmission of hantaviruses, antifungal compounds from unique micro-organisms from the Berkeley Pit in Butte, water quality data to determine environmental contamination on the Crow Indian Reservation, chronic wasting disease, and Candida albicans, the opportunistic fungal pathogen that is the leading cause of fungal disease in immunocompromised individuals. Other projects focus on health disparities as part of the Community-Based Participatory Research/Health Disparities core.
Collaborating with science faculty at Montanas Tribal Colleges to enhance their educational and research programs is integral to the MT INBRE. The annual Faculty Networking Forum held at a tribal college brings network faculty together to explore collaborations, research and teaching interests, and Native American culture.
Undergraduate and graduate students continue to have numerous opportunities for enhanced biomedical education and research experience through internships, fellowships, travel awards, and research conducted on their own campuses.