Profs. Andrew Godwin (PI), Alan Yu (CO-I), and Steven Soper (CO-I) were recently awarded a new grant from the NIH (National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIGMS) within the Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) program. The COBRE program seeks to strengthen an institution’s infrastructure for biomedical research using a multidisciplinary approach. The infrastructure is built through 2 efforts; (i) The generation of Core Laboratories with unique capabilities; and (ii) the mentoring of young researchers to make them competitive for independent research grants at the NIH and other agencies as well. There are 3 Core Laboratories evolving from the KIPM COBRE, one of which is a Biomedical Engineering Core that will use microfluidics for the isolation of liquid biopsy markers, such as rare circulating cells, extracellular vesicles, and cell-free molecules. The Biomedical Engineering Core will use the technologies emanating from CBM2 to facilitate the extraction of liquid biopsy markers from clinical samples to provide material for molecular profiling of various disease states. This information will enable precision medicine decisions on how to treat patients. This is a Phase I grant and provides support for 5 years, and can be renewed twice.
KIPM COBRE will develop a multidisciplinary research program that spans across many departments and scientific disciplines within and across the KU Medical Center and other KU campuses. The method of achieving this goal is highly innovative; we will bring together a group of seasoned investigators with divergent expertise (molecular biologist, biomedical engineer, and clinician scientist) to facilitate the training of outstanding biomedical researchers in how to transition their research under the thematic focus of precision medicine. These training endeavors will be supplemented by research infrastructure that will position the research of these investigators to provide better outcomes for patients that they service. This research infrastructure consists of 3 research cores that facilitate biomarker discovery and access to clinical specimens, implementation of new hardware tools and the associated assays to enhance discoveries, and bioinformatics to generate rational and compelling conclusions from the data they produce.