KANSAS CITY, Kan. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) hosted researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Kansas last week to highlight the promising medical research taking place in our state.
Sen. Moran and the NIH officials – National Institute for General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Director Dr. Jon Lorsch and Center for Research Capacity Building (CRCB) Acting Director Dr. Fred Taylor, who oversees the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program – visited both the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy (KU SOP) in Lawrence and the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) in Kansas City. The group also met with educators and students from Lawrence High School and later met with IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) Directors representing Kansas State University, Emporia State University and Pittsburg State University.
“As a staunch supporter of medical research in Kansas, connecting our nation’s top researchers with the resources they need to save and improve lives is a priority of mine,” said Sen. Moran, Senate Health Appropriations Subcommittee member. “Bringing KU and the NIH together amplifies the great work done at both institutions for the benefit of our state and nation. I appreciate the efforts of all who helped make today’s events such a success.”
“We were extremely impressed with the world-class research we heard about today in Kansas,” Dr. Lorsch said. “Whether it’s finding new ways to fight antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, developing new vaccines, or understanding the causes of craniofacial malformations such as cleft palate, NIH-supported researchers in Kansas are clearly making important advances. We were also very pleased to see the research opportunities available to students through the Kansas INBRE program, which will help ensure that Kansas and the Nation have the outstanding biomedical researchers we will need in the future to continue to make important medical advances.”
“I’m so grateful for the chance to showcase some of KU’s amazing work for Sen. Moran, Dr. Lorsch and Dr. Taylor,” said KU Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Neeli Bendapudi. “It’s through exchanges and interaction like last week’s that researchers and leaders can also identify additional emerging opportunities that profoundly benefit the people of Kansas, our nation and the world.”
KU School of Pharmacy Dean Ken Audus added, “It’s an honor to have Senator Moran visit the KU School of Pharmacy again so he can see first-hand the impressive and important work that takes place here every day. Researchers Thomas Prisinzano and Scott Hefty represent the best of best in Kansas and the world, and we’re grateful that Senator Moran took time out of his schedule to learn more about them and the work they do on infectious diseases.”
“The Kansas INBRE program, funded by the National Institutes of Health, has been strengthening biomedical research in the state of Kansas for more than 16 years,” Kansas INBRE Program Principal Investigator Dr. Doug Wright said. “We are pleased to have Senator Moran as a strong advocate for biomedical research both nationally and within the State of Kansas. His continued support ensures that students in Kansas will have excellent opportunities and training to develop into future scientists, and to help Kansas continue to be a leader in biomedical research.”
- In early July, NIH announced an $11 million federal grant to fund the creation of the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE): Chemical Biology of Infectious Disease at KU. This grant was awarded to Medicinal Chemistry Chair Dr. Thomas Prisinzano at the KU SOP, joined by Associate Professor Scott Hefty. The center will study antibiotic resistant bacteria and infectious diseases.
- Under Research Project Grants (R01) supported by NIH, KUMC researchers Drs. Jeff Bose and Irfaan Saadi focus on staphylococcus aureus pathogenesis and birth defects respectively.
- Sen. Moran has consistently supported funding increases for NIH and IDeA, including a $2 billion increase for NIH in fiscal years 2016 and 2017.