JBU Professor Awarded $250,000 INBRE Grant to Study Bacteria

Dr. Joel Funk, assistant professor of biology has been awarded an Arkansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) grant to fund his research program on bacteria for the next two and a half years.

Dr. Funk is studying the Coxiella burnetii bacterium, which invades the immune system, replicates inside human cells and causes the disease Q fever. Funk and his mentor, Dr. Daniel Voth from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, will be using a non-pathogenic strain to study how the bacteria are able to manipulate the host cell into forming a protected replication compartment. The findings of this research will be used to identify potential drug targets that could result in new therapies for treating Q fever and the many symptoms that it causes.

His proposal was selected for funding from a pool of eight applications for this single award. The funding begins January of 2013.

The Arkansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (Arkansas INBRE) is funded by a grant from the National Institute for General Medical Sciences under the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Program of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The IDeA program was established for the purpose of broadening the geographic distribution of NIH funding for biomedical and behavioral research. Currently NIGMS supports INBRE programs in 23 states and Puerto Rico.

John Brown University is a private Christian university, ranked No. 2 overall and No. 1 Best Value among Southern regional colleges by U.S. News & World Report and listed as one of America’s Best Colleges by Forbes. JBU enrolls more than 2,200 students from 40 states and 39 countries in its traditional undergraduate, graduate, degree completion and concurrent education programs. JBU is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and a founding member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.