New $11M Biomedical Collaborative Grant for the Cancer Center

NIH funding will establish Center of Biomedical Research Excellence

Jason Moore, PhD, Associate Director for Bioinformatics at the Cancer Center, is the principal investigator on a significant new $11 million collaborative grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Focus article photo

Jason Moore, PhD

The project will establish an NIH Center of Biomedical Research Excellence to lead a network of northern New England institutions in recruiting, training, and supporting young quantitative biologists to teach and conduct research into the ways that genes and the environment work together to trigger and prevent disease. Colleagues from the University of New Hampshire, the University of Maine, the University of Vermont, Harvard University's national center for biomedical computing, the University of Southern Maine, Maine's Jackson Labs and Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, and Maine Medical Center will join Dr. Moore and his Dartmouth Medical School colleagues.

The goals of the grant include:

  • Recruitment of talented young quantitative biologists to Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, which is essential for advancing biomedical research in our largely rural research setting;
  • Mentoring junior faculty to help them become competitive for NIH funding;
  • Providing funding to junior investigators for research projects, support bioinformatics and biostatistics research through an "Integrative Biology Core";
  • Building infrastructure in the form of a regional, high-performance computing grid; and
  • Recruiting new faculty in bioinformatics, biostatistics, and related areas.

"Each project pairs an experimental or observational biologist with a quantitative scientist from bioinformatics or biostatistics," said Dr. Moore. "This grant will encourage scientists to collaborate within and between projects, which I believe is the future of biomedical research."

"Given the national economic situation, our funding from national sources is both precious and constrained. From every corner we are exhorted to make best uses of resources, and one critical strategy to address this challenge is collaboration," commented Mark Israel, MD, Director of Norris Cotton Cancer Center. "As we move forward with our Strategic Planning process, developing opportunities for collaboration is a top priority.

"Our imperative is to prevent and cure cancer. The science that will contribute to these efforts requires communication and cooperation from our laboratories, our clinics, and our community and back again. I am extremely encouraged by the opportunities we have at Norris Cotton Cancer Center and our enthusiasm for collaboration as a truly fundamental way to leverage any single person's ideas and abilities."

October 18, 2011