The overarching goals of MT INBRE IV are to 1) maintain and further develop the Montana research network and student pipeline, and 2) utilize this network to address the serious health disparities that Montana's rural and Native communities face. To achieve these goals, a key component of MT INBRE IV is to develop multidisciplinary research capacity across Montana's partner institutions, which include 5 primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs), 7 tribal colleges (TCs) and 2 major research universities. Meeting these goals will be accomplished, in part, through the implementation of the new Developmental Research Project Program (DRPP), which is an extension of the original Research Core from INBRE I-III. Achieving the DRPP's goal will lead to a statewide interdisciplinary research network focused on addressing significant health issues among Montana's rural and tribal communities and strengthening the workforce, research, and student-training pipeline across MT. Collaborating with MT INBRE IV's Administrative, MT IDeA Community Engagement, and Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Cores, the DRPP will provide opportunities for investigators across the network to develop research programs focused on health disparities. Of critical importance in the state's Native American and rural communities will be projects on resiliency, mental health and suicide prevention, nutrition, food security/sovereignty, and metabolic diseases. Importantly, the DRPP seeks not only to develop successful research projects but also to foster their future through a concerted mentoring effort. As such, the DRPP is invested in the successful career trajectory of the investigators themselves and in the development of a pipeline of students dedicated to careers in biomedical research. The DRPP will achieve three specific aims. Aim 1: Continue to develop the established multi-disciplinary health disparities research network to strengthen biomedical research expertise and infrastructure across Montana and expand its scope and capacity. Specific Aim 2: Expand the research base and capacity across the MT INBRE network by providing research support to faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students. Specific Aim 3: Provide research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students that will create a pipeline of students focused on health research careers.


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