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Friday, December 01, 2006

TSU receives $1M federal grant for biotech program


Tennessee State University announced Monday it has been awarded a $1 million grant by the U.S. Department of Defense to establish a nanoscience and biotechnology laboratory and research program.

Marcus W. Shute, TSU vice president for research and sponsored programs, will be the principal investigator for the grant, which was awarded by the Department of Defense’s Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

Tennessee Congressman Jim Cooper was instrumental in securing the grant, TSU officials said.

The funds will be used to build out a nanoscience and biotechnology laboratory in the TSU Research and Sponsored Programs facility currently under construction. The building is scheduled to open in early 2007, with the nanoscience and biotechnology lab to be operational by fall of 2007.

The research conducted in the new program will involve interdisciplinary projects relevant to national science and technology goals, the university said. It will support the missions of the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, NASA, Department of Homeland Security and National Institutes of Health, among other agencies. In addition, the project will assist in creating the pipeline for the next generation of scientists and researchers in nanoscience and biotechnology. The initiative received strong support from Tennessee’s congressional delegation in Washington and promises to have significant impact in the scientific community, TSU officials said.

Jennifer Stewart-Wright, an environmental biochemist and program director for university research initiatives at Tennessee State, will serve as the co-principal investigator and project director for the grant.

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