Dr. Eric B. Kmiec, professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry within the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology at Delaware State University, has been named the director of research for the Delaware INBRE program, a statewide biomedical research initiative.
The purpose of the Delaware IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) is to create an inter-institutional biomedical research capability, by developing a statewide pipeline of capable and competitive biomedical research personnel who can successfully compete for biomedical research grants, funded by NIH and other agencies.
Dr. Kmiec, who currently serves as the principal investigator of the Delaware State University INBRE grant, will assume this post immediately. He will be the first director of research for Delaware INBRE at an institution outside of the University of Delaware.
Widely-recognized as a pioneer of gene editing—a technique in which synthetic DNA molecules are used to patch or repair mutations in human chromosomes—Dr. Eric Kmiec is head of the Laboratory of Chemical Genomics at Delaware State University. Prior to his arrival at DSU in 2011, Dr. Kmiec served as the founding director and eminent scholar of the Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research at Marshall University.
Dr. Kmiec’s research focus is molecular medicine and the development of molecular tools to diagnose human diseases, particularly orphan diseases. Since 1995, research in his laboratory has been supported by the National Institutes of Health in the form of R01 and R21 grants, respectively - the most widely-recognized and prestigious form of funding. He has also received funding from the High Q Foundation, the American Cancer Society, the March of Dimes, the Tobacco Research Institute, Pfizer, Napro Biotherapeutics and a variety of biotechnology companies.
He is a managing editor of Frontiers in Bioscience and is on the editorial boards of many journals including BioEssays. Dr. Kmiec has authored over 140 peer-reviewed journal publications in highly respected journals and has edited several books on gene therapy. He has more than 30 issued patents or patent applications to his credit and has founded several biotechnology companies. His most recent company, OrphageniX Inc., a biotechnology company located in Delaware, focuses on gene editing in inherited diseases such as Sickle Cell Disease.
Dr. Kmiec said he is honored to be chosen to lead this aspect of the Delaware INBRE program, and noted that he will strive to meet the high bar of excellence and achievement set by Dr. Stanhope.
“Biomedical research has evolved into a multi-disciplinary approach and as such, we will take advantage of and expand our expertise in biophysics and imaging by coupling them with the more traditional biological pathways of discovery,” Dr. Kmiec said. “Such confluence of expertise will create an exciting innovative environment for breakthrough research.”
“We are very fortunate to have Dr. Kmiec leading Delaware INBRE's Developmental Research Project Program,” commented Dr. Steven Stanhope, PI of the Delaware INBRE grant.
Dr. Nicholas Petrelli, member of the INBRE Steering Committee, had this to say of the appointment: “Dr. Kmiec's research experience and his track record in mentoring young investigators to be successful researchers will be a tremendous asset to INBRE. I know the INBRE Research Committee looks forward to working with him and getting INBRE to the next level."
“Delaware is very fortunate to have in Dr. Eric Kmiec a great scientist, a transformative leader, wealth of academic experience and an effective mentor,” said Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, DSU’s VP for Research, professor and dean for the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences & Technology. “These attributes will serve the NIH INBRE program well and as a result all the DE institutions involved in it. I am confident that the DE INBRE program is set to reach new highs.” Dr. Melikechi is also a member of the INBRE Steering Committee.