Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Sharon King
PORTALES – Four science faculty members from Eastern New Mexico University have received research funding from a special grant.
The purpose of New Mexico Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (NM-BRIN) is to build capacity of New Mexican universities so that faculty and students can fully participate in research programs of the National Institutes of Health. The program constitutes a partnership among all six of the eligible institutions in the state led by New Mexico State University, with Eastern New Mexico University, Western New Mexico University, New Mexico Tech, New Mexico Highlands University, and the University of New Mexico.
The project facilitates systematic communication among investigators within the network in order to develop, coordinate and share resources and expertise to expand the pool of competitive researchers in biomedical sciences in New Mexico.
Four junior faculty members from Eastern have been selected for funding of pilot projects for year one of the project: Dr. Manuel Varela, Dr. Zhiming Liu and Dr. Nick Wright of the Department of Biology, and Dr. Newt Hilliard of the Department of Physical Sciences. Dr. Hilliard has also served as the Core Facility Director.
ENMU's faculty members have also been paired with mentors at larger institutions, such as NMSU, UNM and Texas Tech. Perhaps the greatest benefit has been the purchase of scientific equipment not currently available at ENMU. Yet another is that BRIN has allowed several ENMU students to work on research projects that would not otherwise have been available to them. All faculty involved in BRIN will have access to BRIN equipment at the other five state institutions. ENMU's portion of the state funding this year was approximately $330,000.
Dr. Ed Kinley, director of the University Computer Center, has also been very involved in the bioinformatics portion of the grant by assisting with obtaining computing and videoconferencing equipment for the project.
The BRIN project is compised of three full-time staff members, a steering committee and an external advisory committee. Dr. John Montgomery of ENMU serves on the steering committee and Sharon King serves on the external advisory committee. The external advisory committee meets twice a year.
They met on the ENMU campus on Aug. 11-13 for their summer meeting.
These distinguished science luminaries recently visited the ENMU campus for a meeting of the New Mexico Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network. Pictured are (L-R): John Alderete, Professor of Microbiology, University of Texas Health Science Center, Member, BRIN External Advisory Committee; Ken Paap, Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, New Mexico State University, Member, BRIN External Advisory Committee; Diane Wax, University of New Mexico,Member, BRIN External Advisory Committee; Newt Hilliard, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Eastern New Mexico University, Director, ENMU BRIN Core Facility Principal Investigator; Jeffrey Arterburn, Director, New Mexico BRIN, New Mexico State University; Sharon King, Special Assistant to the President/Coordinator of Grant Activities, Eastern New Mexico University, Member, BRIN External Advsiory Committee. (photo by Wendel Sloan)