NIH grant modernizes N.H. lung research venture

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The Dartmouth-New Hampshire lung diseases partnership has been awarded almost $2 million in economic stimulus funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to install a fiberoptic backbone that will link higher education and research institutions for large-scale collaborative regional studies.

"New Hampshire, along with Vermont and Maine, is a black hole of connectivity," said principal grant investigator Bruce A. Stanton, MD, professor of physiology at Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, N.H. "Our aim is to turn on the light."

The funds, from the National Center for Research Resources through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, will be added to Dartmouth's Lung Biology Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant, which Stanton also heads. The grant boosts the regional effort for small states to share information for their biomedical research projects and other joint ventures.

The integrated connectivity will provide opportunities for regional biomedical research collaboration and workforce development, and allow data transfer for the New England Translational Research Network, an association of healthcare and research centers for clinical and translation studies.

The funding, in conjunction with the University of New Hampshire, supports core bioinformatics facilities and faculty development for Dartmouth and other projects throughout the region. Large-scale studies of genomics and proteomics involve a new generation of deep sequencing technology that generates terabytes of information. They entail detailed sorting and require sufficient high-speed capacity for cooperative data analysis.