News and Events

NM-INBRE investigator receives the Presidential Award for Excellence in Research, Scholarship, & Creative Activity

Dr. Ivana Mali, Assistant Professor of Wildlife Biology at Eastern New Mexico University and NM-INBRE investigator, has recently been awarded the ENMU Presidential Award for Excellence in Research, Scholarship, Creative Activity.  Dr. Mali was nominated by her peers, students, and the campus community for her amazing achievements and contributions to wildlife research. She will receive a check for $2,000 and a plaque.
Dr. Mali found out about this award while working out on the field, she was sitting on the bank of the Pecos River watching her students set turtle traps. “It put a big smile on my face as it is just a great feeling being recognized for the work not just me but my students put in in the past 5 years. I have a very dynamic lab and very hard-working students,” she said.  For her, this year is particularly challenging because she and her team are working on 4 different externally funded projects in the middle of pandemic, but this award gave her and her team a motivational boost. Read More 



INBRE Co-Director, Dr. Ryan Ashley receives the Mobley Family Endowed Distinguished Research Award

Congratulations to Dr. Ryan Ashley on his receipt of the Mobley Family Endowed Distinguished Research Award. This renowned award is given to faculty members whose attributes pertain to exemplary research like contributions to citable scientific literature, recognition from the scientific community, inclusion on peer review panels, development of practical applications of societal impact arising from the individual’s research, and development of a clear record of research results upon which other scientists may build. Dr. Ashley was nominated by fellow faculty member, Dr. Jennifer Gifford. We congratulate Dr. Ashley for this impressive achievement. For more information on his research, please visit



Members of New Mexico INBRE work together to provide the WHO hand sanitizer, face shields and face masks to Native Communities in the state

During this challenging time, it is more critical than ever to come together to help those most in need.  Some of our recognized network members teamed up to distribute face masks and hand sanitizers to the needing New Mexico Native Communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This remarkable initiative started with New Mexico Tech and former INBRE student, Dr. Danielle Turner when she saw the recipe for the WHO Hand Sanitizer online and mentioned it to our NM-INBRE liaison at Tech, Dr. Snezna Rogelj.  Read More




New Mexico INBRE develops a NISE Virtual Research Experience for the Summer

Since the world is living in unprecedented times due COVID-19, New Mexico INBRE has been forced to modify how the NISE program will be run this summer. The admin core has been working with the National Center for Genome Resources (NCGR) to develop a virtual bioinformatics experience to offer to selected students as an alternative to the traditional NISE program.  Read More




Dr. Ryan Ashley, Co-Director of New Mexico INBRE and NMSU Animal and Range Sciences professor examines placenta development

Dr. Ryan Ashley, Co-Director of our New Mexico INBRE program and NMSU Animal and Range Sciences professor examines placenta development and dysfunction as part of his research.  His major field of Interest is Reproductive Physiology with an emphasis in recognition and maintenance of pregnancy.  He’s exploring placental development and methods of preventing placental dysfunction, which leads to pregnancy complications in both humans and livestock.  Dr. Ashley’s laboratory has two focus areas: progesterone’s actions mediated by membrane receptors and chemokines’ effects in early pregnancy and breast cancer. One goal of his laboratory is to elucidate the functions of membrane progesterone receptors (MPRs) in normal and compromised pregnancies, as well as their roles in reproductive cancers. Dr.  Ashley’s research aims to help women experience successful pregnancies.  Read More




Congratulations to Dr. Gayan Rubasinghege on his promotion to Associate Professor!

Gayan Rubansighege
We are excited to announced that Dr. Gayan Rubasinghege, a current New Mexico INBRE investigator has been promoted to Associate Professor. Dr. Rubasinghege received his Ph.D. in Physical and Environmental Chemistry from the University of Iowa in 2011.  He’s currently a Chemistry Assistant Professor at New Mexico Tech.  As a New Mexico INBRE investigator, Dr. Rubasinghege has been able to excel his research and professional development skills.  His current research revolves around nanomaterial, polymer composite and environmental chemistry, studying hidden reaction pathways and mechanisms in environmental processes to better understand the impact of mineral oxides and engineered nanoparticles on poorly understood environmental process. For more information on Dr. Gayan Rubasinghege and his research, Learn more.




NISE Program Teaching Assistant wins two prestigious awards

Congratulations to Aditi Kulkarni, NMSU graduate student and NISE program’s teaching assistant; who has received two significant awards.   Aditi won the Grad Award for Research Excellence and the Grad Award for Teaching Excellence for 2020.  
According to Dr. Tim Wright, the Awards Committee was uniformly impressed with the contributions she has made to both the research and the teaching mission of the NMSU Biology Department.  She is the first graduate student to receive both awards in the same year.  Combined, both awards provide a monetary sum of $3,000.  She plans to turn the investment in her future education and career goals. Read More




Dr. Stewart Thompson from New Mexico Tech sparks interest in light, sleep and cancer among students and Faculty at San Juan College

One of New Mexico INBRE main objectives is to increase faculty professional development along with investigator collaboration throughout the state. Dr. Stewart Thompson, a current NM-INBRE investigator from New Mexico Tech had the opportunity to visit and present his talk “Switching on those lights after dark is toxic to your health: Why blind women get breast cancer less often” at San Juan College in Farmington, New Mexico. Dr. Thompson’s talk sparked a great interest in his research among students and faculty, helping them learn about the role melatonin plays with light, sleep and cancer. Read More





NMSU & NISE professor joins initiative to fight shortage of new antibiotics

New Mexico State University & New Mexico INBRE are joining the push to mitigate one of the most critical public health crises facing the world: antibiotic resistance. Dr. Lee Uranga, NMSU professor took part in a week-long training to become a partner instructor in the Tiny Earth network, a program founded by University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Jo Handelsman with a two-fold mission: to encourage students to pursue careers in science through real-world applicable laboratory and field research in introductory courses, and to address a worldwide health threat – the diminishing supply of effective antibiotics – by tapping into the collective power of many student researchers concurrently tackling the same challenge, living up to Tiny Earth’s motto, “studentsourcing antibiotic discovery.” Read More




New Mexico’s INBRE program gets renewed by the NIH to enhance Biomedical Research


New Mexico INBRE will be able to expand its efforts to increase biomedical research capability, improve understanding of disease and treatments, plus drive science growth through its statewide network, thanks to a five-year, $18.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.
New Mexico IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research (INBRE) is housed at New Mexico State University, and collaborates with more than 10 partner institutions across the state.  One of the goals of the funding is to continue building a nationwide, multi-disciplinary research network that will enhance the biomedical research base with lead scientists, educators and students. This grantwill also go towards promoting community engagement research, addressing health disparities in medically underserved areas and provide student research experiences through summer programs. 
The NM-INBRE conducts biomedical research in thematic research areas that include: Structure and Function of Biomolecules; Cell and Organism; Pathogens; Bioinformatics and Genomics; Community-Based Participatory Research. Projects also align with the goal of advancing clinical/translational research that have “bench to bedside” and community components, focusing on critical health problems in Brain and Behavioral Health; Cancer; Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases; Child Health; Environmental Health; Infectious Disease and Immunity.
This is the fourth grant renewal for the New Mexico INBRE program, which has achieved significant outcomes and impacts over the years.  Since 2001, it has funded more than 70 faculty investigators across the state, has trained more than 920 students at partner institutions and has garnered a total of $118.5 million in research funding.
For the next five years, New Mexico INBRE plans to increase the number of biomedical research projects funded, grow and sustain a competitive, biomedical research base, plus provide cohesive undergraduate and graduate training programs. 



NM-INBRE Science Advisor Dr. Vallabh “Raj” Shah has been awarded a 5-year $3.5 million grant by the NIH to study kidney cancer

Vallabh “Raj” Shah, PhD, Distinguished and Regents’ Professor in The University of New Mexico’s Departments of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Internal Medicine, and Mark Unruh, MD, chair of Internal Medicine, will study risk factors for chronic kidney disease (CKD) among Native Americans in the southwestern U.S. to determine whether any progress is being made
Shah — who has worked with Native Americans for more than 25 years — and Unruh formed a consortium of investigators with extensive experience in studying chronic diseases, including diabetes and kidney disease.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently announced a five-year $3.5 million grant to fund the consortium in hopes of improving the understanding of potential risk factors for CKD and cardiovascular disease progression, as well as the impact of the disease among Native Americans.  Read More



New Mexico INBRE investigator Dr. Kevin Houston has been awarded $1 million by the NIH

New Mexico INBRE investigator Dr. Kevin Houston has been awarded a $1 million, four-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate how GPER1-dependent mechanisms of tamoxifen action contribute to tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer cells. 
The goal of this multiyear study entitled “GPER1-Dependent Regulation of IGF-1R in Tamoxifen Treated Breast Cancer Cells” is to further characterize how GPER1 is involved in the development of tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer cells and to identify potential targets for future design of pharmaceutical treatments that can lessen the likelihood that resistance will develop in breast cancer patients that are treated with tamoxifen.
In addition, this funding will provide the resources necessary to encourage and support both undergraduate and graduate students in research training while they are completing their studies at NMSU.