Center of Biomedical Research Excellence in Molecular and Cellular Signal Transduction in the Cardiovascular System

Center of Biomedical Research Excellence

Lab members doing research

Dr. Tran demonstrates the capabilities of the Center's new multiphoton microscope that allows deep imaging of tissues, blood flow and neuronal activity to be visualized in the brains of living mice. From left to right: Normand Leblanc, Ph.D., Cam Ha Tran, Ph.D., Yumei Feng, Ph.D., M.D., Shailesh Agarwal, Ph.D., Scott Earley, Ph.D., Brad Ferguson, Ph.D., and Haifeng Zheng, Ph.D. UNR Med photo by Brin Reynolds.

Supported by an $11 million, five-year grant awarded through the Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE), a highly competitive program of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), this research center is focused on better understanding the molecular and cellular signals that regulate the cardiovascular system.The Center for Molecular and Cellular Signal Transduction in the Cardiovascular System, directed by Dr. Scott Earley, Ph.D., is the first cardiovascular-basic-science-focused center in Nevada. The investment of $11 million will result in new discoveries and advancements, as well as benefit the state by creating new jobs and preparing more students for careers in biotechnology and medical research. The COBRE program builds capacity by directing support toward an existing, demonstrated area of multidisciplinary expertise. In addition to contributing research funding, the latest COBRE grant strengthens the University and UNR Med's leadership in cardiovascular research and will serve as a powerful engine for expanding high-caliber research in northern Nevada and across the state.

The COBRE Administrative Core serves the function of establishing infrastruction to manage administrative, fiscal and scientific aspects of the grant. The Administrative Core for the Cardiovascular COBRE is tasked with the following goals during this phase of the COBRE:

  1. Provide scientific leadership and develop an administrative structure for the Center;
  2. Execute an aggressive Faculty Development Plan to provide personalized, one-on-one mentoring for the COBRE's Project Leaders. The Faculty Development Plan is designed to transition the Project Leaders from early career investigator status to fully independent research scientists funded by their own Research Project Grants (RPGs), such as an NIH R01 or equivalent
  3. Establish and monitor milestones for evaluating the progress of Project Leaders toward scientific independence
  4. Select and recruit new Project Leaders to replace those who graduate
  5. Promote collaborations among graduated Project Leaders and established investigators within the Center to develop collaborative RPGs and new Program Project Grants that will enhance the longterm sustainability of the Center
  6. Implement a formative and summative evaluation strategy for the COBRE, the Project Leaders, and the Research Cores with specific milestones

The COBRE program further supports the development of early-career faculty. The grant will support and provide mentorship for four to five research projects led by early-stage investigators.

The grant supports the development of two research cores: