Senator Capito and Marshall Officials meet at WVU to draw attention to biomedical research

Recently, Joseph I. Shapiro, M.D., Dean of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, and Gary O. Rankin, Ph.D., Chair of the Pharmacology, Physiology and Toxicology Department, were ableShapiro_fullsize to participate in a visit with Senator Shelly Moore Capito, and John R. Lorsch, Director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

Rankin noted, “This visit  by Senator Capito, her staff and the National Institute of Health (NIH) officials was an opportunity for the IDeA programs in West Virginia  (INBRE, COBREs and CTR) to highlight the cooperativity that has developed among our programs and the progress the programs are making in building basic and clinical research programs and infrastructure. It was great to be able to showcase what we are do across the state through providing research opportunities for students and faculty and making health-related discoveries that will ultimately have a positive impact on the health of all West Virginians. The IDeA programs are clearly making a difference in West Virginia”

Capito-and-Rankin,-G_at-WVUThe IDeA program was started in 1993 to help increase the biomedical research competitiveness in states that receive only small amounts of research funding from the National Institutes of Health. The Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) was designed to create centers with a biomedical research focus at larger research schools.  To build the biomedical research infrastructure at smaller colleges and universities, and to provoide biomedical research training to undergraduate students, the IDeA Network for Biomedcial Research Excellence (INBRE) was developed.  Clinical and Translational Research (CTR) was intended to expand our infrastructure for, and practice of, clinical and translational research to a competitive level.

Please see below for the full article about this important visit.

Capito Hosts NIH Officials, University Leaders to Highlight Biomedical Research at West Virginia Universities

“From cancer detection and treatment, to the cause and effects of stroke, West Virginia’s Universities are making significant contributions to biomedical research.” – Senator Capito

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) hosted Director Jon R. Lorsch from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of General Medical Sciences at West Virginia University (WVU).

Senator Capito and Director Lorsch were joined by leaders from WVU and Marshall University for a discussion highlighting the groundbreaking biomedical research occurring in West Virginia with the help of investments from NIH’s Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program. The group toured the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, the Neuroscience Center and the Center for Basic and Translational Stroke Research at WVU.

“From cancer detection and treatment, to the cause and effects of stroke, West Virginia’s Universities are making significant contributions to biomedical research,” said Senator Capito. “Funding from NIH’s IDeA program has enabled our state to build its capacity, and I am grateful that leaders from NIH, WVU and Marshall University came together today for an important discussion about continued investment in our state’s biomedical research programs.”

“I have been extremely impressed by what I have seen in West Virginia, particularly the cooperation among its institutions. Their ability to work together to leverage taxpayer funds for biomedical research will increase the chances for medical breakthroughs. This kind of cooperation should serve as a model for research happening across the country,” said Director Lorsch.

Great academic centers like WVU, Marshall University and others should be solving the problems of real people so that we can improve their health. The programs that have been funded by NIH and supported by Senator Capito have helped provide a network of health centers across West Virginia that can address health disparities to how we can best deliver care to the people of this state,” said Clay Marsh, MD, Executive Dean and Vice President, WVU Health Sciences Center.

West Virginia is one of several small states that receive health-related research funding to serve rural and medically underserved communities through NIH’s IDeA program. Currently, West Virginia receives four IDeA grants totaling $11.3 million in funding.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Capito advocated for increased funding for the IDeA program. As a result, the committee passed a budget of $300 million for the IDeA program for Fiscal Year 2016, an increase over last year’s enacted level and the president’s budget request.

Participants in today’s visit hosted by Senator Capito included Jon R. Lorsch, Ph.D., director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences at NIH; W. Fred Taylor, Ph.D., acting director for the National Institute of General Medicine Sciences Center for Research Capacity Building; West Virginia University President E. Gordon Gee; John Maher, Ph.D., Vice President for Research, Marshall University; Joseph I. Shapiro, M.D., dean of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Marshall University; Clay Marsh, M.D., Executive Dean and Vice President, West Virginia University Health Sciences Center; and Dr. Gary Rankin, Chair of the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Toxicology at Marshall University and Principal Investigator of West Virginia’s Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE).

Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine features dual-degree program with emphasis on research

Joseph I. Shapiro, M.D., Dean of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall UniversityHUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Dr. Joseph I. Shapiro, dean of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University, today announced revitalization of a research-focused dual-degree program at the School of Medicine.

The M.D./Ph.D. program has existed at Marshall since 1992, but operated on an ad hoc basis as students expressed interest.

The revised M.D./Ph.D. program is a seven-year commitment that allows students to graduate with both degrees, preparing them for careers in patient care and medical research.  

“The School of Medicine is positioned to offer students interested in medical research an enriching experience that combines traditional medical education with laboratory research in an effort to develop new treatments for their patients,” Shapiro said.   “The field of biomedical research is exploding with opportunity and we are thrilled to offer this degree option to our students.”

Dr. Richard Niles, senior associate dean for research and graduate education, says most of the students interested in the dual-degree program are interested in careers in academic medicine.

“Students exploring careers in research and medicine have historically found themselves having to choose one field or the other,” he said.  “This option allows them to pursue dual goals, combining their desire to help others through both clinical and research experiences.”

Niles says students interested in pursuing the combined degree will check off the corresponding box on their American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) application.  When Marshall receives the applications, they will be flagged for review by a subcommittee consisting of members of the medical school admission committee and the graduate studies committee which, in turn, will make admissions recommendations.

Additional application information is available at