College of Veterinary Medicine - Center of Biomedical Research Excellence in Pathogen Host Interactions (COBRE)

April 12, 2022
8:00 am to 8:30 am

About this event

The National Institutes of Health-sponsored Center of Biomedical Research Excellence in Pathogen Host Interactions is currently in its 9th year of operation.  The COBRE program involves both research and mentoring with the goal of facilitating the development of faculty members who become productive, independently funded investigators in biomedical research.  Our COBRE focuses on basic mechanisms of pathogen host interactions. After 2 years of a pandemic that has affected all of us substantially, it is probably not necessary to convince anyone that understanding the mechanisms by which microorganisms cause disease is important.  In fact, the reason it was possible to develop vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) so quickly is that we already knew from previous research the host molecule that similar viruses use to enter host cells.  MSU’s COBRE investigators do research on a variety of infectious agents, and the COBRE is also a mentoring grant, so the investigators have also had active mentoring both locally and by means of an external mentor who is a leader in his/her area of research.  A few research highlights will be presented from COBRE investigators as will indicators of positive effects of mentoring. The COBRE at MSU will soon enter its final phase, during which the focus is pilot projects to give investigators preliminary data that is needed to be competitive for major grants and sustainable research infrastructure.  We have used COBRE funding to develop a state-of-the art flow cytometry facility that is available to all MSU faculty members.  We are now emphasizing the development of a metabolomics facility.  We have purchased on mass spectrometer and are in the process of purchasing a second one, that this will be the essential instrumentation needed for metabolomic analysis.  A new research field has emerged in which the effects of altered metabolism in a microbe or host are modulated to modify the course of the disease.  Several investigators at MSU are in an excellent position to pursue such research.  In addition, a fortuitous circumstance has developed in which several different departments hired new faculty members who have a shared interest in the role of biofilms in various types of infections.  A total of 10 investigators have been identified who are interested in participating in MSU’s biofilm group.  COBRE funds have been used to equip a lab in the Wise Center which will serve as shared space to facilitate this research and facilitate collaborations in this type of research.  Any particular COBRE is funded by NIH for a maximum of 15 years, and we anticipate by that time the biomedical research enterprise at MSU will be vigorous and self-sustaining. 


CVM Conference Room L2503
Primary Sponsoring Organization
College of Veterinary Medicine
Contact Name
Stephanie Huffman
Contact Phone
Contact Email
Additional Information
This presentation will be offered both in-person and virtual. For in-person, it will be held in CVM L2503 (Old Freshman Classroom). The link for the WebEx is as follows: