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The overarching goal of the Rhode Island-IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (RI-INBRE) is to improve institutional capacity for biomedical research excellence and expand student experiential training opportunities in the State of Rhode Island. RI-INBRE comprises five major core components: The Administrative Core, the Bioinformatics Core, the Centralized Research Core Facility, the Training Core, and the Developmental Research Project Program Core. Since its inception in 2001, RI-INBRE has made significant investments and marked advancements in the biomedical research infrastructure of Rhode Island. RI-INBRE funding has increased the scale and quality of faculty research and engaged undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows in structured and mentored research training experiences. Over the last 19 years, RI-INBRE has supported 212 faculty researchers and over 533 projects and has provided research-training opportunities for nearly 2,000 students, resulting in 757 publications. Through its student-training program, RI-INBRE has contributed to regional workforce development by engaging students and encouraging them to pursue careers in biomedical fields. Many of these students have been admitted to graduate or medical schools and obtained biomedical industry jobs following graduation. RI-INBRE has been particularly influential in building the research infrastructure at primarily undergraduate institutions, which have seen significant improvements in research quality and output, student training, and research infrastructure.

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The COBRE Center for Neuromodulation (CCN) at Butler Hospital supports clinical research in neuromodulation and investigators' career development in this field. The work couples brain stimulation methods with readouts of brain activity (e.g., using various neuroimaging, behavioral, and physiological assessment methods) in clinical or clinically relevant populations. Its guiding principle is that for noninvasive brain stimulation to gain efficacy and implementation, it is essential to better characterize clinically relevant target circuits and mechanisms of action. The CCN includes a Design and Analysis Core (DAC) to support rigorous and innovative experimental design and data analytic strategies and a Neuromodulation and Neuroimaging Core (NNC) to facilitate the acquisition and processing of high-quality data using noninvasive neurostimulation and neuroimaging methods. This article will describe the CCN’s research focus and how it enhances research capacity in neuromodulation in our state. It will introduce our current investigator Project Leaders, their projects, and our pilot project program. It will also detail the CCN’s links to Centers and research cores in Rhode Island researching allied areas of clinical neuroscience, neurology, psychiatry, and psychology, current collaborative efforts across those centers, and opportunities to collaborate in research and training.

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In 2011, faculty from the University of Rhode Island (URI)’s Institute for Immunology and Informatics and Lifespan’s Center for International Health Research collaborated to develop a successful application for a Phase I Center of Biomedical Research Excellence around the scientific theme of translational infectious diseases immunology. From 2013 to 2020, this COBRE supported significant discoveries in research on dengue, HIV, and malaria, among other diseases, and facilitated the career development of several independent Rhode Island (RI)-based early-stage investigators. Our experience illustrates both the potential and challenges for investigators with shared scientific interests to leverage the NIH COBRE program to enhance cross-institutional interactions.

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Peripheral nerves are crucial to the motor and sensory function provided by our upper and lower extremities to our brain and spinal cord. Following trauma or illness, these nerves may be injured, leading to a loss of function that can be significantly debilitating. Fortunately, given the type of injury and under the right conditions, peripheral nerves can regenerate through well-coordinated biochemical processes. However, as individuals age, the ability for nerves to regenerate becomes less efficient, reducing nerve’s potential for the nerve to return to its prior level of function. In this article, we review the research that has been conducted to illustrate the reasons for such a decline in regenerative capacity. In doing so, we explore the concept of inflammaging alongside aging-related impairments of the macrophage and Schwann cell during nerve regeneration.

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This article is contributed by the COBRE for Reproductive Health. The programmatic and scientific goals of this COBRE support a multidisciplinary, translational, and innovative program in women’s reproductive health. The research projects focus on using pre-clinical and human models to understand mechanisms of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, preterm birth, IVF pregnancies, and the application of contemporary computational approaches to identify the networks and pathways underlying these devastating pregnancy complications. We discuss how novel observations emanating from the preeclampsia project can be leveraged to understand chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Proteinopathy is a hallmark feature of neurodegenerative disorders such as AD. We recently reported that preeclampsia (PE), a severe pregnancy complication, is another prevalent proteinopathy disorder in a younger population. This review provides a comprehensive discussion on shared etiology between PE and AD, establishing a novel blood test for their prediction and diagnosis, and a novel therapeutic option for these disorders.

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The CardioPulmonary Vascular Biology Center for Biomedical Research Excellence (CPVB COBRE) was funded in 2013 by the National Institute for General Medical Sciences to establish a collaborative center for research excellence in vascular biology in Rhode Island. The CPVB COBRE has funded successful junior faculty investigators and pilot projects spanning the research spectrum from basic vascular development mechanisms using zebrafish to clinical research on pulmonary hypertension to the effects of mindfulness on hypertension in pregnancy. The Administrative Core has united the group with an active seminar program with visiting experts, a focus on career development, and the use of evaluation to support continuous improvement. The Cell Isolation and Organ Function Core has provided high-quality research services and expertise. Most importantly, hard-working and creative physicians and basic scientist investigators and mentors have worked together to expand the spectrum of vascular biology research in Rhode Island.

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We provide a program update on the COBRE Center for the Computational Biology of Human Disease (CBHD) at Brown University and affiliated hospitals. High throughput data from multiple ‘omics-level’ technologies are fundamental factors in identifying and treating human disease. The acquisition of these data is now straightforward, but the efficient and creative interpretation of these data remains a serious impediment to progress for faculty at all levels in both the basic and translational aspects of biomedical science. The CBHD COBRE seeks to build close collaboration between laboratory scientists working with model systems and data scientists working with computational and bioinformatics tools that can accelerate human disease research implementation. We describe the accomplishments of junior faculty Project Leaders (9) and Pilots Project leaders (8) and the objectives of the CBHD COBRE’s core facility: The Computational Biology Core (CBC). To extend the CBHD COBRE’s reach in the future, we encourage one and all to visit the CBHD COBRE and bring your data sets and questions. Only by engaging with new people and challenges can the program grow to serve the broader biomedical research community in the State of Rhode Island.

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Splenic rupture is a well-described complication of babesiosis but is rarely associated with anaplasmosis.

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Non-bacterial thrombotic endocarditis (NBTE) is characterized by the deposition of fibrin and platelet thrombi on previously undamaged heart valves in the absence of bloodstream infection. It is associated with chronic disease states and can present with systemic embolic disease. Here we report a case of NBTE presenting as recurrent strokes in a patient with bladder cancer. Importantly, transthoracic echocardiography has limitations to detecting valvular lesions in NBTE, and providers should consider obtaining transesophageal echocardiography in the setting of high clinical suspicion.

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Tranexamic Acid (TXA), an anti- fibrinolytic, has been used in military trauma cases and civilian Emergency Departments for several years. This study aims to evaluate protocols for the administration of TXA across Emergency Medical Services (EMS) regions in the United States.