In this COBRE renewal application, we will further develop a world-class center of excellence in vascular biology at OMRF and its partner institutions in Oklahoma. In the initial funding period, we fostered vascular biology research through a multidisciplinary approach. We supported methods development in new core facilities that enhanced the research projects. Mentoring launched the independent careers of outstanding junior investigators, who brought innovative new technologies to OMRF, made possible new multi-investigator NIH grants, and helped us recruit a new cadre of outstanding young investigators with great promise. To date, our nine COBRE project leaders have published 63 papers and received three R01/P01 grants, an NSF grant, and many other grants as PI or project leader. In this renewal, we will exploit synergistic interactions in the Cardiovascular Biology and Free Radical Biology and Aging Programs at OMRF to further develop our vascular biology center. We will support projects of four new junior investigators and one early-to-mid-career investigator. These projects address complementary themes in vascular development, atherosclerosis, and inflammation. Further methods development in microscopy, small animal imaging, and flow cytometry/cell sorting core facilities will drive progress in the projects. We will also support selected pilot projects in promising new areas of vascular biology. Mentoring will emphasize the use of multiple disciplines to creatively address research problems. The strategy encourages collaborative research that enables investigators to compete successfully for dual or multi-investigator research grants. This will catalyze further expansion of a self-sustaining research center in vascular biology of the highest caliber.
PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: This research center will use innovative, multidisciplinary methods to discover new ways to diagnose and treat complex human diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, cancer, and arthritis.