DSU neuroscience center awarded research grant from NIH

Delaware State University sign

Delaware State University announced on Monday that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has  awarded the university's Delaware Center for Neuroscience Research the largest grant in the University's history, $10.9 million over five years.

Officials say that the grant lets the DSU Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (C.O.B.R.E.) build on successes acquired under the original $10.5 million received for Phase I of C.O.B.R.E five years ago.

Dr. Melissa Harrington, director of the Neuroscience Center and principal investigator of the Phase I and II C.O.B.R.E. grants says, "The overarching goal of our Neuroscience Center is to bring together and support neuroscientists working at multiple scales, from human subjects to rodent and invertebrate models, to improve our understanding of the dynamic function of the brain."

The money will reportedly support Phase II research collaborations between DSU, the top institution for the grant, and the University of Delaware. Delaware leaders say that the partnership between the universities gives the first state a strong position in the neuroscience research community across the U.S.

"Five years ago, Delaware State University and the University of Delaware launched a joint effort to begin important neuroscience research, which solidified these prestigious universities' reputation as talented research institutions. This federal grant from the National Institutes of Health means that critical work will continue," said U.S. Senator Tom Carper. "Not only will this First State collaboration advance the study of the brain, but it will also attract talented students and scientists to our state."

"Delaware State University and the University of Delaware have an impressive capacity for collaboration and innovation," Gov. John Carney said. "This NIH grant will allow our in-state institutions to continue their work at the Delaware Center for Neuroscience Research, and prepare the next generation of innovators, researchers and biomedical professionals."

Phase I (2012-2016) reportedly created the Delaware Center for Neuroscience Research, gave research and professional development money for center-affiliated investigators, and gave money towards the hiring of new faculty at DSU. Phase one outcomes reportedly included more than 70 publications by C.O.B.R.E.-supported researchers.

Moreover, support provided through C.O.B.R.E resulted in individual grant awards for six C.O.B.R.E-affiliated investigators and helped DSU win more grants to provide money for the creation of an undergraduate summer research program and grow the neuroscience graduate program.

Phase II proposed activities reportedly include buying research instrumentation for U.D's Center for Biomedical and Brain Imaging. Similar to Phase I activities, Phase II funding at both campuses will support new faculty recruits in neuroscience, and continue providing research and professional development support for affiliated investigators giving them the tools needed to go after grant funding to create individual research programs.

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