The medical school will receive about $1 million per year for five years and the seven partner institutions will be able to access a total of about $1.5 million each year over the same time, which will enable them to sponsor undergraduate research fellows for developing biomedical research projects, said Barbara E. Goodman, Ph.D., professor of physiology at the medical school and director of the South Dakota Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network, who oversees the grant.

The seven predominantly undergraduate partner schools: Augustana College in Sioux Falls, Black Hills State University in Spearfish, Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, Yankton-based Mount Marty College, the University of Sioux Falls and tribal colleges Sisseton-Wahpeton in Sisseton and Oglala Lakota in Kyle on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Examples of the research include a discovery of two proteins potentially useful in cancer therapy, increased understanding of what comprises snake venom and discoveries regarding the growth of ovarian cancer.

The grant continues a program started in 2001 and is funded through NIH’s Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program, which was designed and mandated by Congress to help redistribute NIH support to 23 underfunded states and Puerto Rico.

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