October 3, 2006

Contact: Luke Frank, Senior Public Affairs Representative,505/272-3679; cell 505/907-9525

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ALBUQUERQUE, NM UNM's Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) recently was awarded $10,850,186 by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant will help to advance UNM's Integrative Program in Central Nervous System Pathophysiology Research.

Currently, Yoshio Okada, M.D., Ph.D., Director of UNM Biomedical Research and Integrative Neuroimaging (BRaIN) Center, and his team of COBRE investigators are studying the molecular mechanisms of brain injury from a traumatic event to stroke, epilepsy and Alzheimer's Disease.

"The COBRE Grant is a big boon for UNM and our program," says Jim Liu, Ph.D., professor of medicinal chemistry and toxicology for UNM Health Sciences Center's College of Pharmacy, and associate director for the COBRE Grant. "It helps to cultivate UNM researchers in several disciplines across campus, adds to our technological infrastructure and more firmly establishes our expertise and programs in neurosciences. We have numerous collaborators from the Health Sciences Center, as well as UNM departments of chemistry, biology and psychology just to name a few."

UNM is one of 11 centers nationally that received a combined $117.3 million in NIH awards to support multidisciplinary centers, each concentrating on one general area of research, that strengthen institutional biomedical research capability and enhance research infrastructure.

The COBREs are a component of the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program, designed to improve the competitiveness of investigators in states that historically have not received significant levels of competitive NIH research funding.

"The COBRE Grant enables us to train junior investigators in research, provide them an opportunity create meaningful research and data and work with experts in a world-class facility with cutting-edge instrumentation all to become nationally competitive," Liu adds.

For more information on the COBRE Grant or UNM's Neurosciences Programs, call 272-3679.


Contact: Luke Frank, 272-3322