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UND's med school gets funding for research collaboration

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

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A team of researchers at UND’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences has been awarded funding for a year-long biomedical research project.

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

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

“This collaboration strengthens the relationship between UTTC and UND and provides unique opportunities for Indigenous scholars to engage in biomedical research alongside their academic endeavors at their home institution,” said Biggane. “Archana was one of the first faculty I encountered during graduate school at UND, and I am excited to continue learning 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 combine forces with UTTC to fill in the gaps in knowledge of the illness is needed, in order to develop treatments.

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

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 undergraduate students. More than 20 faculty and staff members at UND participate in the program.

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