The overall objective of this project is to build upon our current core of strength in the "study of the molecular and cellular basis of host- pathogen interactions". We will establish the U of I as a premier institutional having a nationally recognized biomedical program with this thematic focus.
Although the number of faculty engaged in biomedical research at the University of Idaho (U of I) is not large, our institution is strongly committed to research related to microbial pathogenesis and food-borne illness. The overall objective of this project is to build upon our current core of strength in the "study of the molecular and cellular basis of host- pathogen interactions". We will establish the U of I as a premier institutional having a nationally recognized biomedical program with this thematic focus. COBRE funding will allow us to integrate the programs of several established biomedical scientists with those of tow new tenure- track faculty (a virologist and cell biologist) on the main campus in Moscow, ID. In doing so, we will emphasize career development, mentoring, and grantsmanship of all faculty in the Center. We will strengthen our graduate training and research collaboration with the Infectious Diseases Unit of Boise Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Finally, we will integrate the five-state (Wyoming, Washing, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho) WWAMI Medical Program into the COBRE Center to provide a unique opportunity for medical students to become immersed in biomedical research. COBRE center research projects will initially be led by four Co-Investigators , each of whom has proposed an area of multi-disciplinary research relevant to human health and to the overall theme of the Center. This team and their collaborators will work under the administrative and collaborative guidance of Dr. Gregory A. Bohach an investigator established in several areas of microbial pathogenesis. The four independent but complementary projects include: 1) An investigation of the anti-viral activity of Escherichia coli Shiga toxin; 2) Mx expression and uterine mucosal immunity; 3) The mechanism and significance of the internalization of Staphylococcus aureus by epithelial cells; and 4) Phospholipase-C induced platelet-leukocyte interactions and defective diapedesis in gas gangrene. In addition to these four projects, our new virologist and cell biologist will submit research proposal to the COBRE Center and our Advisory Board for approval. A plan to develop funding independence following termination of COBRE support has been developed.