Grant Helps Study Minority Health Disparities

webgroupThe National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities has awarded UTEP’s Border Biomedical Research Center (BBRC) more than $150,000.

The BBRC is supported by the Research Centers in Minority Institutions Program (RCMI), administered by the National Center for Research Resources at the National Institutes of Health.

This administrative supplement will allow researchers to acquire a new high-resolution Orbitrap mass spectrometer for the BBRC’s Biomolecule Analysis Core Facility (BACF). The facility specializes in the separation and characterization of biomolecules.

“This will allow us to identify molecules that can be used to develop vaccines, new medicines, and monitor a vast array of diseases,” said Robert Kirken, Ph.D., dean of the College of Science and principal investigator of the BBRC. “This instrument is very sensitive and allows us to identify molecules from a drop of blood.”

The mission of the BBRC is to facilitate and expand the pathobiology research at UTEP by strengthening the institution’s research infrastructure. The BBRC, through collaborative efforts with nearby institutions, has become the focal point of pathobiology research that addresses the biomedical and health issues of the bicultural population of the El Paso/Juárez region of the Texas-Mexico border.

The center has assigned priority to research in the areas of infectious diseases, toxicology, and neuroscience and metabolic disorders. The BBRC also supports multi-user research facilities in biochemistry/molecular cell biology, preparatory cell culture, analytical cytology, and statistical consulting.

Kirken and Igor Almeida, Ph.D., professor of biological sciences, will lead the effort.