HBC January 2016 News Bulletin

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Bill Picking

New Year’s Greetings from the Higuchi Biosciences Center

As we start a new year I would like to reflect a bit on the events of 2015.  My first full year at the helm of the HBC has been a tremendous learning experience, especially with university-wide reorganization of post-award services and the move of several of our staff members to the new Pharmacy & Biomedical Research Shared Service Center.  The PBR-SSC has now taken over many of the post-award activities that were previously handled by the HBC.  We continue with our quality service in proposal preparation and important activities that are part of the pre-award process.  Angela Loch and Jill McMillan were especially busy with budget preparation and proposal submissions in the area of biomedical research in 2015.  Extramural research funding opportunities continue to become increasingly challenging which has meant that new proposal submissions are on the rise.  Nevertheless, our investigators have been successful in keeping biomedical research strong on the KU Lawrence campus.  Awards to HBC investigators in 2015 have come from a variety of sources, including the PhRMA Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the American Chemical Society, Health Research Incorporated and industrial partners (http://hbc.ku.edu/list-recent-awards).  Our investigators have also taken advantage of partnerships with peer institutions and local funding sources such as the K-INBRE program to further the KU research mission.  To further enhance our investigators’ positioning for external funding, the HBC has continued to support early stage research via the J.R. and Inez Jay Fund and through contributions toward the purchase of small equipment.  The Jay Fund program was extremely competitive in 2015 and three awards were ultimately made to Laird Forrest (Pharmaceutical Chemistry), Mario Rivera (Chemistry) and Jeff Staudinger (Pharmacology and Toxicology).  The next Jay Fund competition will be announced soon.  Congratulations to these and all our outstanding researchers in their funding successes! 

The HBC has also been active in helping support seminars, symposia and meetings involving our investigators.  These have included our own Science Talks, the MIKI meeting for Medicinal Chemistry, the Great Plains Infectious Disease meeting, the Molecular Biosciences Graduate Student Symposium, the Great Plains Regional Annual Symposium on Protein and Biomolecular NMR, the NIGMS Annual Mentoring Workshop, the 2015 NIH Regional Seminar, and the Annual Carnival of Chemistry.  The HBC also partnered with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. and the Kansas Vaccine Institute to host the 2015 Community Practice Meeting in July.  We anticipate contributing further to hosting professional and outreach meetings in 2016 and are ready to consider other meeting ideas that our investigators might have.  The next Science Talks is scheduled for February 19 and will feature a blend of established and new investigators from the KU biomedical research community.  We look forward to seeing a good turnout from our HBC investigators and their research groups. 

As we look ahead, we plan to further enhance our services in proposal preparation, especially for our new investigators.  We have already made plans to participate in the preparation of future Center of Biomedical Excellence (CoBRE) proposals and are planning to host future short courses having biomedical research themes.  Some of the latter will be directed at enhancing the proposal writing skills of our new investigators.  Please look for announcements concerning these and other research promoting activities in the coming year.

So from our HBC staff, we wish you a productive 2016 and beyond,

 

William D. Picking, Director
Higuchi Biosciences Center

 

 

NIH Proposal Guidelines Changes effective January 2016

 This is a reminder that phase I of NIH’s modifications to proposal guidelines will be effective for all applications submitted on or after January 25, 2016.  The changes are as follow:

  • Enhancing Reproducibility through Rigor and Transparency
  • Decreasing of paperwork for the vertebrate animals section
  • Lowering of children age definition from 21 to 18 years old

For more detail, please visit the KU Office of research webpage.



Grant Submission Important Deadlines

April 12, 2017
NIH standard deadline for Conference Grants and Conference Cooperative Agreements (R13, U13) – new renewal, resubmission, revision.

No Date Yet
American Heart Association (AHA) DoD Breast Cancer Program Fiscal year 2017 - pre-announcement to allow investigators time to plan and develop ideas for submission to the anticipated FY17 funding opportunities.

Recent Awards

David Johnson, Interim Director, COBRE CBID Computational Chemical Biology Core Facility, was awarded $2,903 by Sanofi-Aventis Recherche & Développement for his project entitled: “Prediction of druggable pockets unique to cancer-associated mutations.”

Scott Lovell, Director, COBRE PSF Protein Structure Core Laboratory, was awarded $12,120 by the Fox Chase Cancer Center for his project entitled: “Identifying stabilizers of p53 using pocket complementarity.”

David Volkin, Ronald T. Borchardt Distinguished Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, was awarded $550,000 by Vaxxas for his project entitled: “Measles and Rubella Vaccine Formulation for Stability in Dried State.”

Yong Zeng, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, was awarded $410,564 by the National Institutes of Health for his project entitled: “Microfluidic Integrative Circulating miRNA Profiling for Cancer Diagnosis”.  He was also awarded $25,000 by K-INBRE as mentor of Hongmei Cao’s K-INBRE Postdoctoral Award for his project entitled: “Microfluidic Integrative Circulating miRNA Profiling for Cancer Diagnosis.”

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
KU Today