RI Delegation Delivers $21M NIH Grant to Support Cutting-Edge Biomedical Research

 RI Delegation Delivers $21M NIH Grant to Support Cutting-Edge Biomedical Research
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WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Seth Magaziner and Gabe Amo today announced that Rhode Island researchers and scientists will receive a $21 million federal grant to strengthen the biomedical workforce pipeline and boost the state’s ability to carry out and expand innovation in the field of biomedical research.


The Rhode Island IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (RI-INBRE), which has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 2001 with over $81 million in previous grants, was established to expand statewide research capacity in the biomedical sciences, including research in cancer, neuroscience, and environmental health sciences.


This $21,004,945 federal grant will be deployed at several Ocean State colleges and universities over the next five years to boost research capacity, acquire new equipment, expand workforce development training programs, and assist in recruiting the next generation of biomedical researchers and scientists.


“Renewing this grant for another five years is great news for Rhode Island and great news for our researchers and scientists, who are advancing medical breakthroughs and developing new treatment options that help prevent and treat diseases like diabetes and rare forms of cancers,” said Senator Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, who has been a longtime champion of RI-INBRE.  “This federal funding will help usher in new, innovative medical research projects while providing the tools needed to train the next generation of biomedical professionals right here in the Ocean State.”


“Rhode Island’s public and private institutions of higher education are on the leading edge of biomedical research and innovation,” said Senator Whitehouse.  “This federal funding will help keep the Ocean State at the forefront and help prepare the next generation of talent for well-paying jobs in the life sciences industry.”


“We must invest in medical research and treatments that will enable Rhode Islanders to live fuller and healthier lives,” said Rep. Seth Magaziner. “This federal funding will go toward training the next generation of biomedical scientists and developing treatments that will improve the quality of life for patients and potentially save lives.”


“Rhode Island has a long history of investing in cutting-edge innovation — it is what sets our institutions of higher learning apart as leaders in the biomedical field,” said Congressman Amo. “Federal funding is vital for ongoing research endeavors and our growing biomedical workforce in Rhode Island. This five-year, $21 million grant by the National Institutes of Health will support researchers in the Ocean State working to transform the way that we diagnose and treat rare diseases and illnesses.”


The University of Rhode Island partners with Brown University, Rhode Island College, Providence College, Bryant University, Roger Williams University, Salve Regina University and the Community College of Rhode Island in the RI-INBRE program. Dr. Bongsup Cho, professor at the URI College of Pharmacy, serves as the program director of RI-INBRE.


“I am grateful to Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation for their continued support of RI-INBRE, which brings together students from colleges and universities across Rhode Island to further important, lifesaving research in the areas of biomedical sciences,” said URI President Marc Parlange.  “Together with our academic partners, we are not only building capacity for NIH-supported projects here in the state, but we are also providing unique opportunities for students to do important research alongside experts in their field. As Rhode Island’s flagship research university, we are proud to provide a home for RI-INBRE, which will continue to transform and fuel the life sciences industry and economy in the years to come.”


Since 2001, RI-INBRE has supported over 650 research and training projects involving more than 230 different faculty members across the state. The research training programs have helped prepare approximately 2,225 undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows for good-paying jobs at universities, hospitals, and pharmaceutical and engineering companies.

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