June 28, 2010–Seven Delaware students, young investigators and professionals received national recognition for biomedical research at the third biennial National IDeA Symposium of Biomedical Research Excellence (NISBRE), held in Bethesda, Md., June 16-18.

From left, Joe Fox, UD associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, UD graduate student award winners Melissa Blackman and Carissa Young, and Fred Taylor, IDeA program director, NIH-NCRR.
From left, Jeanette Miller, assistant director, UD-Delaware Biotechnology Institute; Rohina Niamat, graduate student award winner from Delaware State University (DSU); Sidney McNairy, Division Director, NIH-NCRR; Bianca DeBroux, undergraduate student award winner, DSU, and Cynthia van Golen, assistant professor of biology, DSU.
From left, Fred Taylor, IDeA program director, NIH-NCRR; young investigator award winners Mihailo Kaplarevic, UD-Delaware Biotechnology Institute and Qinghua Wang, postdoctoral researcher UD Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, and Charles Irvin, director of the Vermont Lung Center and NISBRE conference chair.

Supported by the National Center for Research Resources, a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the conference brought together 815 researchers from 24 states that have programs funded through the National lDeA program, an NIH initiative to build biomedical research capacity.

Following peer review of more than 450 applications, Delaware students and investigators won seven of 41 national awards, consisting of commemorative plaques and monetary prizes. Awardees presented posters on their research in special highlight sessions during the conference.

“This success shows the rapidly growing competitiveness of our statewide efforts to build a biomedical research capability in Delaware,” said Karl Steiner, principal investigator of the Delaware IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE). Steiner is senior associate provost for research development and a professor of computer and electrical engineering at the University of Delaware.

“The NISBRE conference was an opportunity to share with NIH and our IDeA partner states the quality of science and research underway in Delaware. I am delighted that so many of our young researchers were recognized for their efforts,” he said.

Student award winners:

Melissa Blackman, “A Bioorthogonal Reaction Based on an Inverse Electron Demand Diels-Adler Reaction.” Blackman is a doctoral candidate in the UD Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, advised by Joe Fox, associate professor.

Carissa Young, “Single Cell Analysis of Endoplasmic Reticulum Quality Control (ERQC) in S. cerevisiae.” Young is a doctoral candidate in the UD Department of Chemical Engineering, advised by Anne Robinson, professor.

Rohina Niamat, Delaware State University, “CXCR4 and IGF-IR Signaling Crosstalk in Human Neuroblastoma.” Niamat is a master’s candidate in the DSU Department of Biology, advised by Cynthia Van Golen, assistant professor.

Bianca DeBroux, Delaware State University, “IGF-IR Inhibitors Modulate Apoptotic Proteins in Metastatic Cancer.” DeBroux is an undergraduate student in the DSU Department of Biology, mentored by Cynthia Van Golen.

Young Investigator Award winners:

Mihailo Kaplarevic, bioinformatics associate scientist, UD – Delaware Biotechnology Institute, “Distributed Database Approach Toward Next-Generation Sequencing Data Storage, Retrieval and Analysis.”

Qinghua Wang, postdoctoral researcher, UD – Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, “Skate Genome Project: Cyber-Enabled Research and Workforce Development.”

Core Facility Award winner:

Jennifer Holbrook, Biomolecular Core Laboratory, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, “From Bench to Bedside: Mission of a Core Lab in a Clinical Pediatric Setting.”

Delaware currently has five active IDeA programs. In addition to the INBRE program, for which Steiner is the principal investigator (PI), Delaware has four Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) programs:

Membrane Protein Production and Characterization, PI: Abraham Lenhoff, Gore Professor of Chemical Engineering, UD; Women in Science and Engineering on Osteoarthritis, PI: Thomas Buchanan, George W. Laird Professor of Mechanical Engineering and deputy dean, College of Engineering, UD; Molecular Design of Advanced Biomaterials, PI: Thomas Beebe, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, UD; and Center for Pediatric Research, PI: Thomas Shaffer, professor of physiology and pediatrics and associate director of research, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.

Delaware’s IDeA programs were well represented at the conference, with 65 participants from Delaware institutions. Cathy Wu, Edward Jefferson Chair of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at UD, was the technical session speaker for genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics; Beebe presented a workshop on presentation skills; and Steiner served on the executive planning committee, presented a workshop on videoconferencing and chaired the technical session on bioengineering and biotechnology.

UDaily article.