The University of Texas at El Paso is poised to further its work on border-health topics with a $12.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.
The university on Tuesday announced that it received the five-year grant to support its Border Biomedical Research Center.
The center focuses on developing possible therapies for illnesses prevalent in the border area, such as tuberculosis, human immunodeficiency virus, diabetes, cancer and certain neurological disorders, said Robert Kirken, professor and chairman of the department of biomedical sciences at UTEP.
"This grant is focused on developing research infrastructure. It is supposed to provide or enhance the competitiveness of especially minority institutions," Kirken said.
The grant, made through the institutes of health Research Centers in Minorities Institutions program, will fund six new faculty positions and at least two postdoctoral fellowships.
It also will pay for equipment, support staff and some travel.
This is the fourth time the center has received a five-year grant from the agency.
"It's an extremely important building block on our road to Tier One (research university status)," UTEP President Diana Natalicio said. "It's the kind of sustained funding that creates opportunities for faculty and students, and it's extremely important that we continue to grow our portfolio of grants like this from NIH, the National Science Foundation, NASA and the Department of Energy."