Autophagy, Inflammation and Metabolism (AIM) Center

A team of UNM researchers is conducting groundbreaking research into the role played by autophagy in inflammatory diseases and infections. This research has been recognized by the National Institutes of Health, and has earned the university the honor of housing a national center of excellence. See here for an article in the journal Autophagy that has more details on the AIM Center. And, see here for the AIM center website.

Autophagy Research

The AIM Center is dedicated to the study of autophagy, a biological process that could hold the key to treating many diseases. It is funded by a five-year, $11 million federal grant to encourage collaboration among researchers in the field, as well as provide mentoring opportunities for junior faculty.

The study of autophagy is necessary to advance the means of fighting diseases such as:

  • Cancer
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Global emerging infections
  • Autoimmune diseases

The center supports both junior and senior investigators through multi-year projects and pilots, and aims to grow into an internationally known center through its scientific advances. The AIM Center will host national and international activities, promote collaborations and provide career opportunities. It is funded by NIH grant P20GM121176.


The Autophagy, Inflammation and Metabolism (AIM) CoBRE Center offers pilot awards in support of its mission to advance investigation into the role of autophagy in disease.

The center’s pilot program provides grants to investigators who will use the funds to generate data to apply for external funding (preferably through a variety of National Institutes of Health mechanisms, but also through other funding sources). Give us a call for application information.

One goal is to increase the autophagy-based research community at UNM and within New Mexico. Use of AIM’s scientific core facilities is strongly encouraged for AIM-supported pilot projects. AIM supports the scientific core facilities and capabilities.

Contact Information

For more information, contact Sally Ann Garcia at 505-272-9374 or Mark R. Burge, MD at 505-272-4658.

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