Dr. J. Rafael Gorospé

About Dr. J. Rafael Gorospé

Raffy, a geneticist by training, has conducted and published research on a number of childhood genetic disorders of brain and skeletal muscle. He manages multicomponent grants supported through the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program.

IDeA Program Infrastructure for Clinical and Translational Research

As I discussed in an earlier post, the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program supports the development of infrastructure and capacity to enable investigators in IDeA-eligible states to become more competitive for NIH and other biomedical research funding opportunities.

While the program has led to significant progress in the basic sciences, clinical and translational research in IDeA states has, for the most part, remained underdeveloped. To spur greater clinical and translational research in these states, NIH issued the IDeA Program Infrastructure for Clinical and Translational Research (IDeA-CTR) funding opportunity announcement last year.

We have just awarded the first grants, to the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute Exit icon (lead institution: West Virginia University) and the Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science Center Exit icon (lead institution: Louisiana State University Pennington Biomedical Research Center).

Among the activities these centers will pursue are partnerships and collaborations within and across IDeA states; clinical and translational pilot grants; clinical research education, mentoring and career development; clinical research design, epidemiology and biostatistics; and projects related to the specific health and research needs of their states.

For more information on the IDeA-CTR initiative, please contact me by
e-mail or call 301-435-0832.

Introducing the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Program

As Judith Greenberg reported earlier this year, NIH has moved the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program to NIGMS from the now-dissolved National Center for Research Resources. For those who may not be familiar with this program, here’s an overview.

Established by Congressional mandate in 1993, the IDeA program’s goal is to broaden the geographic distribution of NIH funding. It supports faculty development and institutional research infrastructure enhancement in states that have historically received low levels of support from NIH. In addition to enhancing the competitiveness of investigators and the research capacities of institutions in these 23 states plus Puerto Rico, the program serves their unique populations, such as rural and medically underserved communities.

The IDeA program has two main components:

The IDeA program currently supports 87 COBREs and 24 INBREs.

An example of how the IDeA program has built competitive research capacity is the Rhode Island INBRE Exit icon. Over the past 10 years of support, Rhode Island IDeA investigators have received 21 R- and K-series awards from NIH and 28 awards from NSF and other funding agencies.

Similarly, investigators at the Center for Evolutionary and Theoretical Immunology Exit icon, a COBRE based at the University of New Mexico that has been supported for 8 years, submitted 20 grant applications to federal and non-federal agencies in the past year, 10 of which were funded.