Category Archives: Funders

Welcome back! Here’s a summer news recap: Hypoallergenic peanuts, EPICS, NC TraCS & more

To all who were gone over the summer, welcome back. Here’s a rundown of the top research-related news at A&T since May:

Faculty members, department chairs, and deans: We want to write about your research, scholarly and creative activity!  Let us know about it; click here for email.

A&T researcher’s work on COPD among ag workers wins support from NC TraCS program for scholars

Dr. Jenora Waterman has made one key discovery toward improving the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) among agricultural workers, and now she’s been accepted into a prestigious career development program to advance her research.

Headshot of Dr. Waterman

Dr. Jenora Waterman

Dr. Waterman is an assistant professor of functional genomics in the Department of Animal Sciences at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. COPD is a major cause of death in the United States, most typically found among smokers. A less studied aspect of the disease is the 7% of its U.S. victims who are agricultural workers. They can develop COPD as a result of long-term exposure to animal production facilities containing dust that contributes to respiratory diseases.

High-density swine production houses are one example of such facilities.

Dr. Waterman’s first key finding came from comparing pigs raised indoors with those raised outdoors. Pigs aren’t as severely affected by the dust as humans are, but her work demonstrated that their respiratory systems are uniquely adapted to their housing type.

“My lab recently showed for the first time that pigs reared indoors and those raised outdoors exhibit structural and cellular differences in their respiratory systems,” Dr. Waterman says.

“The next step will be studying those differences to identify potential biomarkers that could serve as diagnostic or prognostic markers of agriculture-related COPD in humans.”

Dr. Waterman will take that step as an NC TraCS K-Scholar, a professional development honor for junior faculty members funded through the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program of the National Institutes of Health.

Continue reading

New RTI University Scholars Program for faculty

The program: Faculty Scholars will participate in scholarly leave from their home institution and reside at RTI for one academic year in partnership with an RTI Host PI. 

  • Up to three Faculty Scholars will be selected in the  areas of human health, energy, and education & workforce development for academic year 2014-15.

Application deadline: January 31.

Key Details: Applications are limited to five pages. … The program is open to faculty members at A&T, Duke, North Carolina State, and UNC-Chapel Hill. … Awards will be announced by February 28.

Full details: Click here.

Transportation Institute receives renewal of funding to continue serving one of the Triad’s key industries

One of the Piedmont Triad’s key industries will receive two more years of education, research and workforce development from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded a two-year renewal of funding for the Transportation Institute at N.C. A&T.

“The Triad’s excellent geographic position makes it a prime location for the transportation and logistics industry,” said Dr. Kathryn Dobie, director of the Institute.

“But continued job growth and business success require more than just great location. Technology and the challenges of our economy make transportation and logistics as complex and dynamic as any high-impact industry.

“Our goal is to help the industry – and related ones, like construction – to grow and thrive in its rapidly changing environment and to be as efficient and effective as it can be.”

Continue reading

Defense Threat Reduction Agency highlights Bikdash project and HBCUs’ research skills

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency: A straightforward name attached to a complex mission with more dimensions than you probably want to think about. Much of the agency’s research is conducted by universities, including N.C. A&T.

Dr. Marwan Bikdash, director of computational science and engineering at N.C. A&T, has conducted multiple research projects for the agency.  His latest concerns the survivability of critical infrastructure, such as the highway system, power grid, water supply, and data networks.

“All of these are large networks that form our infrastructure, and they are designed and optimized essentially independent of each other,” Dr. Bikdash says. “However, in a severe situation, they interact in rather unpredictable ways that we don’t fully understand because we typically don’t design them together.”

DTRA features Dr. Bikdash and HBCUs in general in the podcast above, posted last week. DTRA produced the podcast; DORED added the images.

Federal shutdown is ominous for A&T research

“The biggest impact on us is, there’s nobody at the federal agencies processing proposals. … There are 60 proposals we could have submitted in the first 10 days of October that are sitting on the desks here waiting to see what we should do.”

— Dr. Barry Burks, vice chancellor for research and economic development, quoted today in the News & Record

Click here for the full article.

Workshop: Building the NSF Grant Proposal

Flyer for NSF grant workshop, April 25, 2013

 

Click here for more information

Click here to register

Webinar on NSF CAREER grants Thursday April 18

NSF logoThe Office of Research Services and Project Management will host a webinar, “How to Write a Competitive NSF CAREER Proposal,” for assistant professors in the STEM disciplines.  The webinar will be held in the Fort IRC, Room 410,  from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday April 18. Registration is not required.

The webinar will cover:

  • How to decide when and if to apply for a CAREER grant
  • How to position yourself and your research to be competitive for a CAREER
  • How to structure your proposal
  • How to develop an educational plan
  • Keys to success and common mistakes to avoid
  • A step-by-step discussion of each section of the proposal and what it needs to tell the reviewers
  • How to analyze reviews and decide whether to revise and resubmit
  • Questions and Answers

Additional materials, including example proposal sections, proposal outlines and helpful resources, will be included.

The speaker will be Lucy Deckard, president of Academic Research Funding Strategies, a  research-funding consulting firm.

Click here for information on  the NSF CAREER program.

Image

Ag Research Seminars to be held Thursday

Flyer for 2013 Ag Research Seminars

3 diverse new research projects at N.C. A&T explore blood-brain barrier, risk management, wheat bran

Three new research projects at N.C. A&T aim to explore the weakening of the blood-brain barrier in  Alzheimer’s disease patients, to apply risk management to supply chain logistics, and to find a way to make dietary fiber taste better.

The projects are the first ones funded at A&T for each of the three principal investigators. All were funded in October.  They were among 29 new or continuing projects receiving external funding during the month, totaling more than $10 million.

The complete list of projects receiving external sponsored funding in October

The projects are (click the links for one-page summaries):

  • “Brain pericyte and amyloid-beta peptide interaction,” Dr. Donghui Zhu, Department of Bioengineering, $142,000, National Institutes of Health. One hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease is a compromised blood-brain barrier  characterized by significant reductions in critically important pericyte cells on the exterior walls of endothelia.  Our long-term goal is to determine the role of brain pericytes in the development of Alzheiner’s disease and to develop drugs to preserve pericytes functioning in Alzheimer’s patients.
  • “Understanding Risks and Disruptions in Supply Chains and their Effect on Firm and Supply Chain Performance,” Dr. Mahour Mellat-Parast, Department of Applied Engineering Technology, $200,000, National Science Foundation. This project provides the first comprehensive view of managing risks and disruptions within supply chains in different industries with respect to the stage and scope of the risk. As such, it facilitates the formation and establishment of an integrative discipline (risk engineering/risk management) utilizing engineering, technology, and management foundations.
  • “Modification of Wheat and Corn Brans by Microfluidization Process,” Dr. Guibing Chen, Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies, N.C. Research Campus, $299,000, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Numerous studies indicate that dietary fiber plays a protective role against obesity, but it’s difficult for anyone eating a typical Western diet to consumer adequate fiber.  Research is needed to improve sensory properties of high-fiber foods and to enhance the fiber ingredients’ nutritional value. We propose to modify physicochemical and nutritional properties of wheat and corn brans using a microfluidization process. This technique will significantly improve palatability and nutritional value.