Jay Jacobs, a biology major from Reeder, N.D., conducts research at Black Hills State University through his SD BRIN undergrad research fellowship this summer. Genomics and biomedical research will increase at BHSU as a result of a multi-million dollar SD BRIN grant.

Black Hills State University students will be doing increased genomics and biomedical research as a result of a multi-million dollar grant.

BHSU will receive nearly $3 million over the next five years as part of a $16 million grant awarded to Dr. Barbara Goodman of the Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota by the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Research Resources.

These funds support the South Dakota Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (SD BRIN). SD BRIN is the South Dakota component of the IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE). Faculty and researchers note that these funds will have a huge impact on biomedical research at BHSU and throughout the state.

“This grant has a huge impact on BHSU research involving both faculty and students, with our subcontract portion being nearly $3 million over the five-year award period,” says Dr. Cynthia Anderson, SD BRIN’s program coordinator, “Our students will be provided with opportunities to participate in biomedical research projects with faculty mentors.”

Anderson notes that the financial support from SD BRIN over the past eight years has been vital to the growth of the genomics program and research capacity at BHSU. She notes that the goals of the next phase of SD BRIN will also provide opportunities for BHSU to enhance its research capacity and provide exceptional research opportunities for BHSU students.
The following projects are just a few examples of research being conducted by BHSU science faculty participating as mentors to undergraduate students in the S.D. BRIN program.

• investigating in vitro methods to test the activity of small molecules against plasmodium, the organism responsible for malaria.
• assessing the genetic mechanism behind susceptibility and resistance of fungi to silver compounds;
• studying the relationship between seasonality and physiological condition on malarial infection rates in the White-winged Juncos of the Black Hills
• and studying the genetic expression, processing, and evolution of bacterial enzymes known to oxidize hydroxylamine, including hydroxylamine oxidoreductase (HAO).

This grant also provides critical support for the Western South Dakota DNA Core Facility (WestCore) which was established in 2004 at BHSU as part of SD-BRIN. WestCore complements the SD-BRIN Proteomics and Genomics core facilities located at the Sanford School of Medicine by providing critical infrastructure that enhances research, education and training in the biomedical sciences in South Dakota. WestCore provides genetic services such as DNA sequencing, and genotyping to other South Dakota academic institutions, as well as public and private organizations regionally.

SD BRIN seeks to further develop a strong collaborative network within South Dakota to enhance basic biomedical research capabilities via an interdisciplinary approach to research in the control of cell growth with special emphasis on proteomics and genomics.

SD BRIN seeks to develop human resources for undergraduate programs and graduate programs in the biomedical sciences and bioinformatics at South Dakota institutions by:
• providing research support and mentoring for junior investigators and faculty from participating institutions
• providing opportunities for, and the understanding of, cutting-edge scientific research for students at predominantly undergraduate institutions
• introducing undergraduates to graduate programs and future careers in biomedical sciences and bioinformatics
• and enhancing science and research capabilities at tribal colleges to provide opportunities to further education and careers in science and research.
The project was supported by Award Number P20RR016479 from the National Center for Research Resources. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Center for Research Resources or the National Institutes of Health.