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University News

First-ever biomedical research center 'something of substance'
williams and moorman

JOHNSON CITY (June 24, 2016) – Quillen College of Medicine’s Dr. David Williams and Dr. Jonathan Moorman have spent two years building East Tennessee State University’s first-ever biomedical research center from the ground up.

The Center for Inflammation, Infectious Disease and Immunity (CIIDI), which was approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents in June 2014, is a multidisciplinary research center that helps unite ETSU researchers within the biomedical fields for improved opportunities for collaboration and grant garnering.

“We’ve been busy putting meat on the bones of this center,” said Williams, CIIDI co-director and a professor of surgery at Quillen. “Now, we have something of substance.”

The center boasts 46 members, including faculty and students from the colleges of medicine, pharmacy, public health and arts and sciences. It also includes a member from the James H. Quillen Veterans Administration Medical Center and an affiliate member from Vanderbilt University.

Since January 2015, members have had 49 peer-reviewed papers published and currently have 29 active research grants resulting in more than $17 million in research funding from 14 different funding agencies.

“The center is a catalyst for getting research going,” Moorman noted.

The establishment of the center has also resulted in new research resources, including new instrumentation, a data capture program that stores research data, a program to link researchers with statisticians, a research-grade freezer and partnerships with area companies to provide resources and materials.

“Now that we’ve established this baseline for the center, we need to start taking a broader view,” Williams said. “We now need to start thinking more as a group.”

At an end-of-the-semester lunch, CIIDI members discussed what they’d like to do next with a focus on such items as advancing the educational mission through training grants, grant-writing workshops, expanding the research tools available to researchers, broadening the center’s member base and hosting talks by individuals who are up-and-coming in a variety of research-based fields.

Williams said he also hopes to see the center used as a model for developing other university areas focused on research excellence.

To learn more about the CIIDI, visit http://www.etsu.edu/com/ciidi/.

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