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Montana Western's biology department receives over $1 million in research grant

UMW News Bureau

Montana Western's biology research lab is busy with several National Institute of Health funded projects. Recently, biology professors Mike Morrow and Mike Gilbert have each received over $500,000 in funding for their biomedical research.

phpTuVAf6University of Montana Western professors Mike Morrow and Mike Gilbert have recently received over $1 million in research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Morrow and Gilbert’s research grants will each bring in $507,375.00 in total cost for biomedical research over the next five years. “It is extremely rare for a school of our size to have two NIH funded researchers with over $1 million in funding,” Gilbert said. Morrow, along with a few lab students, is busy researching protein trafficking in the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans in an attempt to identify drug targets to combat a number types of yeast infections. (Pictured above, Morrow and lab student Amanda Kortum work in the Montana Western research lab). Research Gilbert's lab focuses on Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium responsible for Lyme disease. He developed a way to control gene expression in this pathogen with the overall goal of identifying possible vaccine targets for Lyme disease. The research funds granted to Montana Western will not only be used to develop the complex research projects Morrow and Gilbert are working on, but also to support the undergraduate work in the lab. Students will have the opportunity to learn from NIH funded scientists and potentially be a part of important biomedical research. “We are hoping to increase the number of students that come to Montana Western to study biology and go on to biomedical careers, graduate or medical school,” Morrow said, “We need biomedical-minded students to work in our labs and help carry-out our research.” Montana Western is on the cutting-edge of biomedical research. Professors like Morrow and Gilbert are looking for dedicated and scientific minded students to become part of their research. “Our program is rigorous, but it is also very rewarding and a great way to prepare for biomedical careers.”