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Saint Anselm Gets $1.2 Million for Biomedical Research

November 09, 2010

Story by Barbara LeBlanc
(603) 641-7241

Saint Anselm College has been awarded $1.2 million from a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant that is designed to create a biomedical research network in New Hampshire. 

The award is part of a $15.4-million NIH grant for the state's IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence, which is led by Dartmouth Medical School and the University of New Hampshire. Seven other undergraduate institutions are also involved in the statewide partnership.

The five-year grant will support research training and experience for dozens of Saint Anselm students, as well as the work of three professors.

Daniel Broek, Ph.D., of the biology department, is conducting research into understanding how cancer cells have acquired many additional chromosomes. In psychology, Joseph Troisi, Ph.D., uses a rodent model to study how learning can play a role in spontaneous recovery of motivated (perhaps addictive) behavior, and Adam Wenzel, Ph.D., also in psychology, is studying the relationship between obesity and age-related eye disease.

"This grant will enhance the undergraduate experience at Saint Anselm College in important ways by giving students the chance to work on meaningful, granted-funded biomedical research projects," said Broek.

Broek is working with four senior biology majors, Zach Staley, Kirstin Richardson, Christina Palmieri, and Nina Pelletier. Troisi is working with two senior biology majors, Jennifer Kane and Erin Bryant, and senior psychology major, Lauren Morse.

"This grant is for the students," said Troisi. "My philosophy is that, pedagogically, research and scholarship are symbiotic with education.  We learn from our students' questions, but teach them about our discoveries in the laboratory."

Wenzel will work with human subjects, along with a year-round student researcher. "This will be a great opportunity for a student who has a real interest in this area," said Wenzel, whose research in the field dates back to his undergraduate years.

Dartmouth Medical School and UNH oversee the awarding of grants and fellowships for the New Hampshire INBRE, with the support of NIH's National Center for Research Resources (NCRR).

The new INBRE's principal investigator is Ronald K. Taylor, Ph.D., a Dartmouth Medical School professor of microbiology and immunology, and the director of the medical school's Microbiology and Molecular Pathogenesis Program

"Through the power of shared resources, the INBRE created by this award will strengthen the research infrastructure throughout New Hampshire and the Northeast region," says NCRR Director Barbara Alving, M.D. "The bioinformatics core developed by this network will make cutting-edge technologies available to institutions across the state and ultimately speed the pace of biomedical research discovery in New Hampshire and beyond."