Category Archives: N.C. Research Campus

N.C. A&T post-harvest technologies research center to expand lab space at N.C. Research Campus

Building at N.C. Research Campus in KannapolisThe Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies has outgrown its lab, so it will lease additional space at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis. Its staff has grown to 40 researchers and support personnel, and its original 5,800 square foot facility is no longer adequate to provide space for all of its research.

From the Triad Business Journal:

“N.C. A&T State University is expanding its presence at the N.C. Research Campus, the Kannapolis park that’s home to researchers from a multitude of the state’s colleges and universities.

“The park is home to N.C. A&T’s Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies, which studies ways to process fruits and vegetables after they are harvested. The goal is to find ways to make food safer, extend shelf life and preserve health-promoting nutrients. …

“‘We tie all of this research together and how it impacts our nutrition from every angle, from looking at how a diet rich in phytochemicals impacts our metabolism and our gut microflora, and how it impacts specific genes related to chronic disease,'” said Leonard Williams, director of the N.C. A&T center. “‘Our new lab will allow us to be able to do that research better.'”

Undergrad researcher at N.C. A&T lab recognized for work on cancer prevention and wheat bran

N.C. Research Campus logoAn undergraduate research technician at N.C. A&T’s Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies has been named a finalist in the Undergraduate Student Research Symposium sponsored by the American Chemical Society.

The center is located at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis. It is operated by the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.

Nicholas Stone, a senior biology major at Davidson College, is one of six finalists chosen from an international pool of applicants. He will present his research on “Alkylresorcinols: Purification from wheat bran and quantification in whole grain wheat breads” at the 249th ACS National Meeting in Denver, March 22 to 26.

The symposium is conducted by the Agricultural and Food Chemistry Division of the ACS. It is open to all undergraduates conducting research in agricultural food chemistry.

Stone, who is originally from Winston-Salem, works in the lab of Dr. Shengmin Sang, associate professor and lead scientist for functional foods. Originally a summer intern, Stone quickly progressed from helping with small tasks like washing dishes to becoming a full-fledged member of the research team focusing on the study of alkylresorcinols (AR), a bioactive compound in whole grain wheat and rye.

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A&T at the North Carolina Research Campus: Finding new ways to keep healthy food healthy

Dr. Leonard Williams on foodborne illnesses:

“Pathogens cause a lot of deaths, sickness and hospitalization, which results in a tremendous economic burden with loss of work and doctor visits and on the food industry with recalls and lawsuits. It exponentially compounds itself to where it’s (foodborne illness) probably one of the most costly to treat. It is something we hope to help find a remedy for through the research in this center.”

From a video interview and news report at the website of the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, home of the N.C. A&T Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies.

LabCorp’s Kannapolis biorepository accredited

Laboratory Corporation of America has announced that its Biorepository has been accredited by  the College of American Pathologists.

“The LabCorp Biorepository, located in Kannapolis, North Carolina, adjacent to the North Carolina Research Campus, is a world-class biological specimen storage facility that LabCorp opened in 2009. Beyond simple storage capabilities, the biorepository offers well-annotated, consented specimens that are available for biomarker discovery efforts.”

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.

Lots of love for JSNN and Kannapolis these days

Flag of Ecuador from http://www.boowakwala.comTwo recent items from the news media  worth noting:

President Rafael Correa of Ecuador visited the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis this week, and he liked what he saw, big time.  From The Charlotte Observer:

Correa is studying the research, scientific instrumentation and collaborative environment of the research campus as a model for the development of Yachay, a planned city of science and technology being built in Ecuador’s northern province of Imbabura.

“Amazing! Outstanding!” said Correa. “A learning experience for us. We are building, in our country, a planned city of knowledge, (and) we want to learn from your experience.”

Trade magazine Advance for Medical Laboratory Professionals dropped in at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering recently, and they called it “exciting”:

… JSNN has a number of research projects in emerging areas including nanoenergy technologies, self-assembly methods and computational nanotechnology, Dr. Ryan said. “Each of the research thrusts have great potential, but I believe that JSNN’s research strength is in the highly interdisciplinary areas requiring contributions from both science and engineering to get a ‘game-changing’ result,” he explained.

JSNN has also established a bridge to industry partners by working with the Gateway University Research Park. One such group is the Nanomanufacturing Innovation Consortium. “Consortium members are able to observe research that is underway in the facility, provide input to research programs and have access to the JSNN equipment,” Dr. Ryan explained.

5 major new research projects at N.C. A&T

An array of new research, education and community engagement projects at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University will result in new services for young victims of trauma, research on preventing colon cancer, and a new joint program in astronomy to be conducted with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  New programs in social computing and bioengineering are also under way.

Five  of the top new research projects funded recently at North Carolina A&T:

The complete list of projects receiving external sponsored funding in September

Scientists from N.C. A&T and N.C. Central identify ginger as possible treatment for anemia

Scientists from N.C. A&T and North Carolina Central University have found a new direction for anemia research through their work with ginger.

Dr. Shengmin Sang of A&T and Dr. TinChung Leung of NCCU were scheduled to present their findings this week at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Chicago.

From an NCCU news release:

“The two researchers have found that ginger extract and its purified component increase red blood cell production (erythropoiesis) in transgenic zebrafish recovering from anemia, as well as in normal non-anemic zebrafish. They also discovered that ginger and its purified component stimulate a signaling pathway that encourages blood stem-cell formation. This finding provides insight for future study of the effect of ginger and its bioactive components in formation of blood cellular components in mammals. It has the potential to lead to development of novel erythropoiesis-promoting agents to treat anemia commonly associated with cancer chemotherapy.”

Both researchers are based at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis.  Sang is with A&T’s Center of Excellence for Post-Harvest Research. Leung is with NCCU’s Julius Chambers Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute.

Child obesity event at N.C. Research Campus

The Kannapolis Scholars program is inviting researchers to attend a one-day workshop on child obesity at the N.C. Research Campus.  Registration is open through tomorrow, Friday July 22.

WHAT: Lost in Translation: A Conversation in Childhood Obesity.

WHEN and WHERE: Friday, August 5th, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., David H. Murdock Research Institute Core Laboratory Event Room. Breakfast and lunch will be provided free of charge.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: From advancements in obesity research to improvements in the products that end up on your plate, many careers, companies, and lives have been dedicated to addressing childhood obesity. However, these efforts do not tend to communicate to a diverse audience, and instead are generally focused within their field. By opening a dialogue among government, industry, and individual sources using a transdisciplinary approach we can provide revolutionary solutions for eliminating childhood obesity. Through transdisciplinary collaboration this conference will highlight the aspects of childhood obesity where our progress has been “lost in translation” from scientists to the community, government to industry and everywhere in between.

To this aim we have selected four speakers representing government, industry, academia, and community stakeholders to speak about issues relating to childhood obesity afterwards we plan on having conference attendees discuss these issues in a round-table format.

TO REGISTER: Deadline is Friday July 22nd. Go to


The Kannapolis Scholar Program brings postgraduate students to the N.C. Research Campus for a transdisciplinary training program. The 14 postgraduates currently in the program research food science, nutrition and human health under the direction of mentors from each of the participating universities: Appalachian State, Duke, N.C. A&T, N.C. Central, N.C. State, UNC Chapel Hill, UNC Charlotte, and UNC Greensboro.

Student housing proposed for Kannapolis

From the Charlotte Business Journal:

“The Kannapolis Rotary Club has launched a fund-raiser that would support the first student housing at the N.C. Research Campus.

“The club has set a five-year goal to raise at least $300,000. That money would support the purchase of a home near the Kannapolis-based research hub, to be called the Rotary House.  Organizers expect it would house as many as 10 students.”

For more details, see the Charlotte Business Journal (subscription required).