MEDIA ADVISORY - The College of Western Idaho (CWI) is beginning to increase its footprint in the Idaho biomedical research community thanks to its newly forming inclusion in the IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE). For the past year CWI has been participating in Idaho INBRE, which is a collaboration of education and research between 11 institutions in the state, and this fall CWI will officially be welcomed as a partnering institution.
As part of the College’s INBRE involvement, CWI sent four students to the 2013 INBRE Conference, held Aug. 5-7 in Moscow, Idaho. The College validated its presence as a pair of students with CWI connections received prestigious honors at the conference. CWI student, Patricia Turmes, brought home the Best Scholars Poster award for her collaboration with Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) student, Boone Rhinehart. Their poster, titled Sequencing the GAPDH Gene of the Deplospermia cooperi Ice Plant, earned top honors out of hundreds of undergraduate submissions. The illustration mapped a gene in ice plants that breaks down glucose.
“As a student at a new community college, it was exciting to show the local academic institutions that CWI is capable and ready to join the biomedical research community,” said Turmes. “I am truly grateful for the research and networking opportunities I was given through my participation in the INBRE program.”
Turmes participated in the research and poster collaboration as a CWI student. She has since graduated and is attending Idaho State University.
CWI alum, John McMillan, also celebrated an individual achievement at the conference as he was selected for an INBRE Fellows Scholarship. McMillan, who now attends University of Idaho, has been offered a position in Dr. Onesmo Balemba’s lab within the U of I Biological Sciences department.
In addition to the INBRE scholarship, College of Western Idaho is sponsoring $5,000 to be used towards scholar position opportunities for CWI students excelling in the science program.
“Having CWI as a partnering institution in the INBRE program will provide a huge advantage to our students by allowing them to gain research experience in the in-demand field of biomedical research,” said Brian McClain, CWI Physical & Natural Sciences Assistant Professor. “The scholarships that CWI is sponsoring to support this program will allow CWI’s outstanding science students to be competitive with students across the state.”
About Idaho INBRE:
Idaho INBRE, originally called the Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (BRIN), was founded in November 2001 with the purpose of enhancing research facilities at UI, Boise State University, and Idaho State University. In July 2004, the scope of the project and title changed to its current focus and moniker. Today, the INBRE program network also includes the Boise VA Medical Center, Brigham Young University-Idaho, College of Idaho, College of Southern Idaho, CWI, Lewis-Clark State College, North Idaho College, and NNU.
About the College of Western Idaho:
The College of Western Idaho is a public, open-access, and comprehensive community college committed to providing affordable access to quality teaching and learning opportunities to the residents of its service area in western Idaho. CWI has seven campus locations throughout Southwest Idaho providing higher education and 21st Century technical skills acquisition. The college is dedicated to improving the community’s economic well-being by responding with highly-educated and productive graduates. The foundation for the area’s only community college was created by a supermajority of voters in Ada and Canyon counties on May 22, 2007. For more information about the college, visit cwi.edu or call (208) 562-3000.