LAS VEGAS: The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a grant expected to total $11.3 million to fund phase 2 of southern Nevada’s first Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE): The Center for Neurodegeneration and Translational Neuroscience (CNTN).
The five-year continuation of the COBRE award builds upon a long-standing collaboration between Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), to continue the efforts of their shared CNTN. The phase 2 award is co-led by Aaron Ritter, M.D., of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and Jefferson Kinney, Ph.D. of the Department of Brain Health at UNLV.
The CNTN is aimed at establishing translational neuroscience research infrastructure through basic and clinical research, and supporting junior investigators in developing innovative approaches to the understanding of neurodegenerative disorders. The only COBRE in southern Nevada to conduct both basic and clinical research, CNTN researchers are investigating diagnostic methods, health disparities and therapeutic interventions.
COBRE grants are part of NIGMS’s Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program, which supports faculty development and research infrastructure enhancement in states with historically lower levels of support from the NIH.
In addition to faculty development, during phase 1 of the CNTN, researchers from both the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and UNLV created a robust research infrastructure consisting of data management and analysis, advanced imaging and innovative research projects aimed at understanding the commonalities among neurodegenerative diseases.
Building upon the efforts of phase 1, phase 2 of the CNTN will focus on developing the resources and processes necessary to achieve long-term sustainability. Its aims include:
- Foster infrastructure development
- Develop biomarker, imaging and clinical research capabilities
- Career development of CNTN investigators
- Launch a pilot project program
- Stimulate research productivity and plan for long-term sustainability
“The continuation of the CNTN for another five years creates a tremendous opportunity to expand on the biomedical capabilities in southern Nevada. Our approach is truly translational in establishing research teams from UNLV and the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health across many disciplines to collaborate on projects,” said Dr. Kinney. “As we have seen from the success in phase 1, this interdisciplinary approach advances our understanding and ability to treat these devastating diseases, while also paving the way for future discoveries by us and others.”
The CNTN is supported by NIH grant: P20GM109025.