Tag Archives: NIH

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.

NIH seeks input on racial disparities in R01 grants

National Institutes of Health logoFrom Dr. Richard Nakamura, director of the NIH Center for Scientific Review:

“We want you to know NIH is working on multiple fronts to get to the bottom of unexplained racial disparities in R01 grant funding and to maximize fairness in NIH peer review. Since the problems and the solutions are bigger than NIH, we have reached out to the scientific community and other concerned citizens for help. Now armed with a team of experts and a set of new initiatives, we’d like to tell you about our efforts to address this important issue –- particularly an exciting opportunity for you to submit your input.”

Click here to read Dr. Nakamura’s entire statement. And don’t overlook the comments, which range from insightful to shocked — “absolutely shocked” — that anyone would even suggest that bias exists in the peer review system.

Rhetoric note: There’s really nothing like using five exclamation points at the end of a sentence to underline the thoughtfulness of your argument.

A&T and UNC-CH researchers launch investigation into triple-negative breast cancer’s link to viral RNA

Researchers at N.C. A&T and UNC-Chapel Hill have been awarded a grant to investigate a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer. The team will work to determine the role of viral factors in the virulent nature of triple-negative breast cancer.

Triple-negative breast cancer represents 15% to 20% of breast carcinomas. It is prevalent in younger women, African American women, and in women with BRCA1 gene mutations. This type of cancer is very aggressive, has a poor prognosis, fails to respond to conventional therapy, and appears in many forms. The causes and molecular basis of this cancer are currently unknown, though multiple factors, including viruses, may be involved.

Specifically, this pilot study will investigate the prevalence of three particular types of viral genetic material in triple negative breast tumors and determine what role these passenger virus genetic materials play in the cancer’s malignant properties and survival.

The study will be led by Dr. Perpetua Muganda, professor of biology at N.C. A&T. The team will include Dr. Scott Harrison, assistant professor of biology at A&T; Dr. Dukka KC, assistant professor of computational science and engineering at A&T; and Dr. Jan Prins, professor of computer science at UNC-CH.

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A&T, RTI to partner with UNC-CH on $54.6M project to advance clinical and translational science

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been awarded a five-year $54.6 million Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) from the National Institutes of Health. With the award, UNC-CH will partner with two institutions, RTI International and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, to accelerate the pace at which clinical and translational research directly benefits patients and communities in North Carolina.

The grant is NIH’s second to support the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences (NC TraCS) Institute. The project is expanding to include RTI International as a research partner and N.C. A&T as a planning partner.

The partnership with A&T will give UNC researchers access to the state-of-the-art laboratories at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, while providing NC A&T faculty collaborative opportunities and financial resources to accelerate discoveries in the lab to patients, particularly those from underrepresented minorities. 

“Together, we will develop a robust pipeline of minority clinical and translational research scientists in a manner that can be a model for the nation,” said Barry L. Burks, N.C. A&T’s Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development.

The institutions will focus on three strategic initiatives:

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