The Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine recently received a 5-year $11.1 million grant from the National Center for Research Resources to further develop the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE). The National Center for Research Resources is a division of the National Institutes of Health.
The money is an extension to a $9.9 million grant the school received in July 2004 to establish the center. The original grant also created a Center for Experimental Infectious Disease Research, which constitutes a strategic alliance between the school, the LSU College of Basic Sciences and the Tulane National Primate Research Center.
The COBRE grant provides funding and research capabilities that give assistant and associate professors the opportunity to establish research programs that will compete for independent funding by the NIH. Once a faculty member receives his or her own NIH funding for a particular research program, he or she will be rotated out of COBRE and replaced by other eligible faculty.
“What makes this grant so important is that it continues the momentum we began with the funding of the first COBRE that brought in $9.9 million and will allow us to continue the expansion of our research program in infectious disease as it relates to human health and comparative medicine,” said Thomas Klei, Ph.D., association dean for research and advanced studies at the School of Veterinary Medicine.
“It is important to know that this program was jump-started by funding from the Governor’s Biotechnology Initiative begun many years ago by Governor [Mike] Foster, which continues to have an important impact. It is the only grant like this currently at LSU. The ultimate goal is to create an independent Center for Infectious Diseases relying on the strengths of the participating institutions in the greater south Louisiana region.”