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Largest Annual Gathering of Mississippi’s Biomedical Community to Propose Research Addressing State’s Critical Health Needs and Disparities

Tue, 07/30/2019 - 10:05am | By: Van Arnold

Photo of a crowd at the conferenceThe largest annual gathering of Mississippi biomedical students and professionals will meet again at the 2019 Mississippi IDeA Conference on Friday, August 2 at Hilton Jackson, 1001 East County Line Road, in Jackson, Mississippi.

The event is sponsored by the National Institute of General Biomedical Sciences’ Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program—a multistate program that includes the Mississippi IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) headquartered at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM)—and features the latest research from scientists and students based at universities and institutions throughout the state.

Scientific sessions will cover topics surrounding the state’s biggest health needs and health disparities such as obesity and cardiometabolic diseases, infectious diseases and immunology, neuroscience, cancer, biotechnology, health disparities such as behavior management and community engagement, and others.

The conference also provides professional development opportunities for undergraduate students, graduate students, and research professors from across Mississippi pursuing careers in biomedical research and health professions. Keynote speaker Dr. Isiah Warner, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at Louisiana State University, will present on the importance of mentoring students in this talk titled “Mentoring: Guidance along the Yellow Brick Road from Bunkie, LA to Endowed Chair at Louisiana State University.”

Mohamed Elasri, Director of the Mississippi INBRE network at USM, said Mississippi IDeA Conference draws biomedical researchers not only from within the state, but also from outside Mississippi.

“This type of event is critical for networking and initiating collaborative projects that ultimately benefit the people of Mississippi,” Elasri said. “Just as important, this is a great venue for students that are training to be the next generation of biomedical researchers to showcase their projects and get feedback from top scientists in the state.”

Conference sponsors include the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of General Biomedical Sciences (NIGMS), which supports basic, clinical, and translational research, faculty development, and infrastructure improvements through its IDeA program. Mississippi INBRE is one of six IDeA-funded programs serving the research needs of Mississippi’s medically-underserved communities.

As a network of colleges and universities designed to build a biomedical research infrastructure in the state, Mississippi INBRE supports three facilities: an imaging core facility at USM, a molecular and genomics core facility at University of Mississippi Medical Center, and a proteomics core facility at Mississippi State University. These provide the latest equipment and technical expertise to researchers and students for education and training.

Mississippi INBRE also hosts summer programs at USM where students gain hands-on experience in the fields of biomedical research and public health.

For more information on Mississippi INBRE and the conference, visit