The University of Wyoming has teamed with a dozen other western schools to form a research network designed to address regional health concerns.
The network will make it easier for UW researchers to collaborate with counterparts at other institutions. It will also help them compete for funding against larger institutions, said physiology and zoology professor Scott Seville.
“This helps level that playing field,” he said.
The partnership — officially called the Clinical and Translational Research Infrastructure Network — will be funded through a $20.3 million grant from the National
Institutes of Health. Schools in seven states will share resources and expertise.
Schools like UW don’t have certain resources that larger research institutions enjoy, Seville said. UW — like many schools in the Mountain West — lacks a clinical research hospital. Nor does it have the population to support certain studies.
The partnership will help Wyoming researchers circumvent such issues by teaming with colleagues at other institutions. For example, a professor in Laramie might work with researchers at a Montana hospital to perform trials on a new drug.
It’s already possible for a researcher to find someone to work with in another state. But the network will offer new avenues for assistance and funding, Seville said.
“It provides another direction that faculty can pursue,” he said.
The network will focus on regional health issues including diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. It aims to develop “bench-to-bedside” projects that translate scientific research into practical uses.
In addition to the University of Wyoming, the network will include schools in Nevada, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana and New Mexico.