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Wayne State Secures Biomedical Research Funding


Wayne State demonstrates continued success in preparing students for careers in biomedical research.  The college successfully received renewed funding by the National Institute of Health for an ongoing grant under the name of INBRE (IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence). 

The grant is headed by Dr. James Turpen of The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC).  WSC professors Shawn Pearcy Ph.D. (Physiology) and Doug Christensen Ph.D. (Molecular Microbiology) have been involved with the grant for two renewal periods dating back to 2000.  The renewal phase will allow expansion of faculty at WSC to include Sharmin Sikich Ph.D. (Biochemistry). The grant also allows Wayne State College to purchase expensive cutting-edge biomedical research equipment and supplies that can be utilized daily in teaching.

Recent graduates of the Wayne State INBRE program:

  • Marko Jovic of Serbia completed his Ph.D. at UNMC in 2009.
  • Chibawanye Ene of Nigeria was one of only 40 students annually in the U.S. to receive the prestigious Howard Hughes Fellowship. Chiba is conducting research at Oxford while working toward his medical doctorate at Indiana University.
  • Eric Miller of Spencer, Neb., and Jamie Gilmore of Omaha are attending graduate school at UNMC in the departments of Pathogenic Microbiology and Structural Biochemistry, respectively.
  • Michael Jacobsen of Laurel, Neb., was one of three Nebraska students to receive a Barry Goldwater Scholarship in 2006 and is attending graduate school at the University of Utah conducting research on drug delivery.
  • Deann Settles of North Bend, Neb., is in Medical School at UNMC.
  • Janae Rise and Brittany Cody, both from Fremont, Neb., are at UNMC and Wayne State College, respectively.
  • Katie Peterson of Sioux City, Iowa, is in the Veterinary Science Program at Iowa State University.

Professors Pearcy and Christensen were recently recognized at the Annual Nebraska INBRE Conference in Grand Island for their dedicated service as founding members of the Nebraska INBRE program.

“Wayne State has proved time and again that our students can compete with anyone in the world and this grant allows us to continue to ready our world-class students for life beyond the classroom,” Christensen said. 


Anyone interested in learning more about the NIH grant can contact Wayne State’s Christensen at (402) 375-7345 or Pearcy at (402) 375-7078.



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