boost to the state’s biomedical research efforts by providing state-of-the-art scientific instrumentation that can be used by all RI-INBRE supported faculty members and their students. The only facility of its kind in Rhode Island, the laboratory features equipment for mass spectrometry, microscopy and imaging, cell culturing, chromatography, flow cytometry and more. “We receive a wish list of instruments and purchase the big-ticket items that most investigators can’t afford to purchase for their own labs,” explains Cho. “We’re buying new machines all the time and consistently upgrading our equipment.” One of RI-INBRE’s most effective initiatives has been the Rhode Island Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program, which provides students with 10-week research fellowships to gain hands-on experience conducting biomedical research. The summer work culminates with an annual conference that affords the fellows the occasion to present their scientific findings to a group of peers and mentors. The largest conference of its kind in New England, the event has grown significantly through the years and wields tremendous influence on the career trajectory of many of the participating students. Dioscaris Garcia was one of the first fellows. He worked with URI Pharmacy Professor David Rowley in 2004, culturing marine bacteria to identify those with

RI-INBRE has supported more than 500 research and training projects involving 151 different faculty members. RI-INBRE also has provided research training to 1,413 undergraduate students, 171 graduate students and 49 postdoctoral fellows. As a result of these efforts, faculty supported by the program have been awarded an additional $72 million in external grants to continue their independent research.

“The RI-INBRE program has been truly transformative for Rhode Island. We’ve built a real community of biomedical researchers in RI.”

- Bongsup Cho

Photo credit | URI student Rose Jacobson ‘21

| 18 | The University of Rhode Island { Momentum: Research & Innovation }

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