Weekly Update

Keeping you informed of upcoming opportunities and events
~ From the team at Alaska INBRE ~

July 26, 2021

for Events and Deadlines of interest to our Alaska INBRE Community
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We invite you to let us know how you have been "Impacted by INBRE" so we can celebrate with you!
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Alaska biomedical researchers receive funding
to track COVID-19 variants

Jeff Richardson, Cornerstone July 19, 2021

A team of University of Alaska biomedical researchers will join a federally funded effort to improve tracking of COVID-19 variants throughout the state.

The National Institutes of Health is providing a $770,000 grant to support efforts to sequence and analyze genomes of variants circulating in Alaska. The program will expand efforts in the state to include cases detected in Indigenous health networks and provide a way to share information about “variants of concern” throughout the health system.

NIH funds the Institutional Development Award program (IDeA), and a team of researchers with the Alaska IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence, or INBRE, will receive the grant. The INBRE program is part of a federal effort to boost research capacity in certain targeted states, including Alaska.

“This award shows that the National Institutes of Health recognizes the importance of extending research on the changing nature of the COVID-19 virus to rural states like Alaska and our important Alaska Native communities,” said Brian Barnes, the INBRE program director and principal investigator of the effort.

Participants include University of Alaska Fairbanks researchers Jack Chen and Devin Drown, and University of Alaska Anchorage researchers Jason Burkhead, Cindy Knall and Eric Bortz.

Other collaborators on the project include the Southcentral Foundation and the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.

Chen, an associate professor of virology, also is the deputy director of the Alaska State Virology Laboratory on the Fairbanks campus. That joint appointment boosts opportunities for collaboration between UAF and the state’s public health labs amid a pandemic, he said.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jynene Black, Alaska INBRE reporting and outreach coordinator, 907-474-5767,

COVID CORNER:  Check here for the latest report

Alaska INBRE would like to announce two upcoming Theses defenses.  
2020-21 INBRE GRA, Evelina Natekin, and 2017 INBRE URA, Kenneth Sparks!

Thesis defense: "Medical implants bioinspired by shark cartilage"
Please join M.S. candidate in Interdisciplinary Studies, Evelina Natekin, for a public thesis defense via Zoom beginning at 8 a.m. July 28. Description: Using biomimetics and 3-material 3D printing, we set out to create the first tessellated intervertebral disc implant prototype based on a self-stiffening structure found in shark cartilage. Our prototypes increased in stiffness with increasing load, similarly to shark cartilage, proving that artificial tessellated material may be a viable option for nonmetallic implant

Thesis defense: "Gene expression of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF-1a), its regulators, and its putative downstream targets in ventricle and telencephalon of the anoxia-tolerant turtle (Trachemys scripta)"
Please join M.S. candidate in Biological Sciences, Kenneth Sparks, for a public thesis defense via Zoom beginning at 1 p.m. July 28. Description: This thesis assessed the role of HIF-1α in ventricle and telencephalon of one of the vertebrate champions of anoxia survival, the red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta). Turtles acclimated to 21°C or 5°C were exposed to either normoxia, anoxia (24 h at 21°C; 24 h or 14 d at 5°C) or anoxia + reoxygenation and the effects of oxygenation state, as well as cold acclimation in normoxia, on HIF-1α and HIF-2α gene expression, some HIF regulators and eleven putative downstream targets of HIF were quantified by qPCR.


Alaska INBRE
In-person event @ Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge

October 1, 2021 - Noon-5pm
Student Professional Development Workshop

October 2-3, 2021
Research Retreat

Mark your calendars now! You won't want to miss it!
Look for more information COMING SOON regarding
registration, poster sessions, agenda, etc.
The NIH Common Fund has active funding opportunities for the High-Risk, High-Reward Research program. These funding opportunities seek outside-the-box research ideas that if successful would have a large impact in an area of research relevant to the broad mission of NIH. Though this program is a time-tested approach for sparking innovation, NIH is not fully tapping into the scientific potential of the nation in terms of the diversity of applicants, institutions, or scientific topics.

This is an opportunity for you to speak with NIH Program Officers and have your questions directly answered about the four initiatives the HRHR program offers.


TRiM FRIDAY JOURNAL CLUB - Fridays @ 12-1 PM via Zoom  Please join Transformative Research in Metabolism (TRiM) to discuss peer-reviewed literature in metabolomics and hibernation research. 

JULY RESEARCH BROWNBAG via Zoom Meeting ID: 673 299 9480 Passcode: MXHv67
July 27 @ Noon-1PM Alaska time; 2-3pm Mountain - Brian Shirts, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Wasington will present “New Horizons in Genetic Testing for Cancer Risk and Prevention”

July 26-30 @ 12-1pm PDT (11-12 Alaska) - online webinar for Investigators

This 1 hr/day for 5 days online seminar is free of cost and designed to introduce you to design and management of clinical trials. Whether you identify as faculty, research staff, or as a post doctoral fellow, we have a track to fit your needs. Learn more and register here.

July 26-27, 2021 - Open to any faculty member or student that is part of an IDeA program (INBRE, COBRE, CTR, and SEPA). Find the agenda here, and register here.


CPVB COBRE SCIENTIFIC CORE SERVICE AWARDS:  The Cardiopulmonary Vascular Biology COBRE seeks applicants for Scientific Core Service Awards to foster your research, publications and grants.  Services can be requested from the Cell Isolation/ Organ Function Core.  No award will be issued for more than $5,000. Here are some highlighted services:
  • Primary cell isolation, characterization, propagation, phenotyping from endothelial cells (heart, lung, vessel); fibroblasts (heart); epithelial cells (lung)
  • Brightfield and fluorescent imaging using BioTek Cytation 5
  • Aperio brightfield and fluorescent scanning and image analysis
  • Electrical cell impedance system (ECIS)
  • Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
  • Rodent imaging services
  • Laser Doppler System
  • Echocardiogram

This list is not exhaustive.  Interested investigators should review the core service website and complete the online application.   For more information about additional services and ways the cores could assist in your research endeavors please contact Susan McNamara, to schedule an appointment.     

CALL FOR PROPOSALS - COLLABORATIVE SEQUENCING/ BIOINFORMATICS PILOT AWARDS:  The NM-INBRE Sequencing and Bioinformatics Core (SBC) invites you to apply for a pilot project award valued at approximately $5,000 to $10,000 to drive your research, publications and grants! Requires co-contribution from non-NM-INBRE Investigators. Proposal deadline:  2nd Sunday of each month by 11:59 pm. Details and how to apply here.

This workshop is designed to introduce you to the design and management of clinical trials. Whether you identify as faculty, research staff, or as a post-doctoral fellow, we have a track to fit your needs. Click here for more information.
  • July 26-30 - Investigators
  • All online sessions @ 12-1pm PDT (11am-12pm Alaska Time)
GENOMICS WORKSHOPS SPONSORED BY ALASKA INBRE:  Alaska INBRE is sponsoring workshops on large-scale DNA sequence analysis focused on developing hands-on computational skills to analyze real-world example data. A key goal of these capacity-building workshops is to ensure personnel at multiple University of Alaska campuses and partner institutions are trained in modern data analysis methods that are repeatable and sustainable. Thus, participants will use computational resources that are available to all U.S. researchers. Workshop leaders will be Drs. Brant Faircloth (LSU), Travis Glenn (UGA), and Natalia Bayona Vasquez (Emory). Additional trainers will include PhD students in Bioinformatics and Environmental Health Science at the University of Georgia. Click here for more information  or REGISTER HERE.  Workshops will be online from 9am-noon Alaska time 
  • Aug 2-4:  Genome Assembly, SNP calling and Population Analyses
MW CTR-IN FREE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT TRAINING: NIH's NIMHD Health Disparities Research Institute Virtual Course (Aug 9-13, application now open)
Please visit the MW CTR-IN Professional Development Core website for more information

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