Silhoutte

A pair of pedestrians are silhouetted against the skyline as they cross Tanana Loop on their way from the UAF West Ridge tails to the Arctic Health West parking lot Tuesday afternoon, October 22, 2019.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks has received a $16 million grant renewal in support of its biomedical programs.

The five-year grant comes from the National Institute of Health, according to Karsten Hueffer, associate dean of veterinary medicine. The institute gives grant funding as part of its Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity initiative.

Hueffer is also the program lead for the Biomedical Learning and Student Training, or BLaST, program, which will benefit from the grant. The program offers biomedical training and mentoring for undergraduates, with a focus on students with Alaska Native and rural backgrounds.

The BLaST program emphasizes student centered research, a holistic approach to mentoring and the One Health concept, which Hueffer said is the idea that the health of the environment, animals and humans are intertwined.

The grant funding will contribute to the program’s activities.

“We will be supporting student scholarships where the students receive tuition fees and a small stipend to cover living expenses, as well as a little bit of research money so they can work in labs and be supporting their research,” he said.

Research equipment, travel funding for making presentations at conferences, research advising and mentoring professionals and faculty pilot projects among other items would be supported through the grant funding, Hueffer said.

He noted there are 10 grants like this in the country. As the university had been the recipient of one for the last five years, when the time came for renewals last year, they applied.

“I feel very grateful for support by the national institute of health as well as the university overall to our program that allowed us to get our renewal,” Hueffer said.

Contact staff writer Kyrie Long at 459-7510. Follow her on Twitter: twitter.com/FDNMlocal