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Friday, October 26, 2007

Chemistry Dept at Hampton gets $1 million in grants

The Hampton University Department of Chemistry recently received four grants from three different government agencies. The grants, which total over $1 million, will help the department's continuous effort to support new programs, improve facilities and to advance the instruction that students attain from the program.

"Undergraduate research, mentoring and the preparation of students for graduate work are central to the department's activities and initiatives," said Dr. Isai Urasa, chairman of the HU chemistry department. "These grants will provide the department with new resources and opportunities that are needed to maintain the trend that has been established."

These grants were provided by the following agencies:

U.S. Department of Education, $420,111 - The three year grant will support forensics chemistry program. As more students become interested in forensic chemistry, the grant will help to cultivate the program. The grant will also aid in the establishment of a new forensic chemistry research laboratory.

The National Science Foundation, $308,000 - The grant, from the Major Research Instrumentation Program, will be used to acquire a 400 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer. The instrument will allow students to study molecular compounds, their structure and how they form. The extremely powerful and sophisticated instrument will provide enhanced data for students.

The National Science Foundation, $120,000 - This grant supports the creation of a computation and simulation laboratory. The lab, which will be completed in a few months, allows students to simulate situations and chemical reactions prior to performing experiments in the lab. The practice of computation and simulation are important tools; this preparation allows for a better-designed experiment.

The National Institutes of Health, $221,566 - This renewed grant, as a part of an on-going international research training program, will continue to fund opportunities for students and faculty to assist three universities in Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania in Africa. The summer program consists of 10 to 15 students from different universities. The program which began at HU in 1995, allowed a total of 13 students to travel to Africa and embark on biomedical research this past summer. The 10-week study allows students to incorporate science with social and cultural experiences.


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