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Jackson, AL, United States

Alabama State University, founded 1867, is a historically black university located in Montgomery, Alabama. ASU is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Wikipedia.


Hou H.J.M.,Alabama State University
Materials | Year: 2011

In nature, the water-splitting reaction via photosynthesis driven by sunlight in plants, algae, and cyanobacteria stores the vast solar energy and provides vital oxygen to life on earth. The recent advances in elucidating the structures and functions of natural photosynthesis has provided firm framework and solid foundation in applying the knowledge to transform the carbon-based energy to renewable solar energy into our energy systems. In this review, inspired by photosynthesis robust photo water-splitting systems using manganese-containing materials including Mn-terpy dimer/titanium oxide, Mn-oxo tetramer/Nafion, and Mn-terpy oligomer/tungsten oxide, in solar fuel production are summarized and evaluated. Potential problems and future endeavors are also discussed. © 2011 by the authors. Source


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: RSCH EXPER FOR UNDERGRAD SITES | Award Amount: 336.63K | Year: 2014

This REU Site award to Alabama State University, located in Montgomery, AL, will support the training of 10 students for 10 weeks during the summers of 2014 - 2016. The focus of this program is to provide research experiences in the multidisciplinary fields of nanotechnology and biotechnology. Faculty from biological sciences, chemistry, physical sciences and other related disciplines will be serving as mentors for the program. All research projects will be based on novel concepts of design and development of new nanomaterials for biological applications. Students will participate in a full-time closely mentored lab research project along with seminars and various professional development workshops, such as the responsible conduct of research, professional communication skills, career opportunities in academia and industry, and the graduate school application process. Students will present their findings at both a poster session and research symposium during the final weeks of the program. Students will also take field trips to encourage interactions with the faculty and students at Alabama State University. Housing, a stipend, and meal and travel allowances will be provided. Students will be selected based on their interest in research, academic record, and phone interviews with potential faculty mentors.

The REU program is intended to encourage students to pursue a career in STEM fields. Students will learn how research is conducted and many will present the results of their work at scientific conferences. Members of underrepresented minority groups and from colleges with limited research opportunities are especially encouraged to apply.

Program evaluation will use both internal evaluations and the BIO REU common assessment tool. Students are required to be tracked after the program and must respond to an automatic email sent via the NSF reporting system. More information is available by visiting http://www.alasu.edu/REU , or by contacting the PI (Dr. Komal Vig at komalvig@alasu.edu) or the co-PI (Dr. Shree R. Singh at ssingh@alasu.edu).


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 450.00K | Year: 2015

PI: Dean, Derrick R.
Proposal Number: 1510479

The human anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is ruptured over 200,000 times per year (or an incidence of 1 in 3000) in the United States, resulting in over $1 billion of medical expenses. The gold standard for surgical repair is the patellar tendon autograft, but this treatment is far from optimal due to lengthy recovery time, potential for developing arthritis, associated donor site morbidity, and degenerative joint disease. These limitations have prompted the need for a tissue engineered solution. This study proposes to use a multidisciplinary approach to provide a fundamental understanding of the design and fabrication of a scaffold (a temporary structure made of a biodegradable polymer that facilitates the growth of cells and tissue) that mimics and facilitates the development of the four tissue types found in the ACL structure. Students will be involved in the research, and several courses will benefit from the knowledge generated by this project.

The human anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is ruptured over 200,000 times per year (or an incidence of 1 in 3000) in the United States, resulting in over $1 billion of medical expenses. The conventional surgical repair involves autografting the patellar tendon autograft, however shortcomings of this approach include long recovery time, potential for developing arthritis, associated donor site morbidity, and degenerative joint disease. These limitations underscore the need for a tissue engineered solution. This study proposes to use a multidisciplinary approach which provides a fundamental understanding of the evolution of a hierarchical, spatially organized 2-dimensional biomimetic scaffold designed to facilitate the development of the four tissue types found in a ligament-to-bone interface. The objectives of this study are: To utilize inkjet printing to prepare hierarchical, spatially organized structures that can be used for bone-ligament interfaces; to characterize the morphology, composition, mechanical behavior and immunochemistry across the bone-to-ligament interface; and to understand the material-cell interactions across the gradient structure. The fundamental knowledge gained from this study will significantly impact the engineering of bone-ligament interfaces and other applications where gradient structures are present. Program resources will be leveraged with the existing REU program at Alabama State University and the NSF/Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation program (LSAMP), to maximize the involvement of undergraduate students from underrepresented groups. Several courses will benefit from knowledge generated from the research, and students involved will have opportunities to present their research at national and regional conferences.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 5.13M | Year: 2012

The Center for NanoBiotechnology Research (CNBR) was established at Alabama State University in 2007 as a NSF Center of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST). The Phase II Center will expand and strengthen a major research activity at Alabama State, which has become a model for the development of research scholarship at a university that only a decade ago was a primarily undergraduate institution with only a small amount of funded STEM research activity. The Phase I award (HRD-0734232) trained 26 graduate students, led to the first 3 PhD students at Alabama State University (all programs), led to the first patents being awarded to ASU, enabled a world-class research infrastructure, led to new curricula development, and led to the formation of national and international collaborations. The nanotechnology infrastructure now in place is capable of synthesizing, analyzing and applying nanomaterials into biological systems.

The Phase II CREST award will enable the advancement of nanobiotechnology and nanogenomics, which has the potential for development of a new generation of therapies and diagnostic tools. The new research projects that will comprise the scholarly activity of the CNBR will build on the Phase I activities that established a solid foundation at Alabama State in nanobiotechnology. The Center will be a leader in the CREST goals to develop a diverse, advanced STEM workforce and should be positioned within the next 5 years to compete effectively for major support from NSF, NIH, and other state and federal agencies, as well as industry.

The proposed research is organized around the following subprojects:

1. Evaluation of Anti-RSV Multi-functionalized Nanobiomaterials and Their Effect on Host and Viral Genomes

The first project embarks on nanovirology by exploring nanomaterials to specifically target a virus. Virus specific biomolecules (anti-peptide and siRNA) with known properties will be used to functionalize nanomaterials and apply them to inhibit virus replication.

2. Nanobiomaterials as Anti-bacterial Agents

The second project focuses on applications of nanomaterials against bacteria. Many antibiotics are in the market but are resistant to many bacteria, necessitating the design of new classes of anti-bacterials. The research team will develop and apply novel nanomaterials that can destroy bacteria and stop their growth. The main goal is to understand the mechanisms by which nanomaterials kill bacteria.

3. Regulation of Immune Cells Using Novel Nanomaterials: Merging Nanoimmunology and Nanogenomics

The third project will explore novel materials that could non-specifically enhance immune functions and reduce disease manifestations. Proposed nano-biomaterials will be synthesized, characterized and tested in biological systems using nanoscience tools and techniques.

Intellectual Merit
The Phase II CREST award will enable the advancement of nanobiotechnology and nanogenomics, which has the potential for development of a new generation of therapies and diagnostic tools. The three subprojects have overlapping research objectives. All three projects will analyze genes from host as well as pathogens and use bioinformatics tools to analyze data. In addition, proteomics will be used by all projects which will study the impact of nanobiomaterials at the functional levels. All projects have common methods for analyzing nanomaterials and samples. The project relevancy and synergy are based on: 1) synthesis/characterization of nanomaterials, 2) genomic studies of host and pathogen, 3) proteomic studies of gene products in response to nanobiomaterials.

Broader Impact
The CNBR will be a leader in the CREST goals to develop a diverse, advanced STEM workforce and should be positioned within the next 5 years to compete effectively for major support from NSF, NIH, and other state and federal agencies, as well as industry. The Phase I center support has resulted in the establishment of excellent research infrastructure to train minority students in nanobiotechnology, thus increasing the number of well-trained minority students for the scientific workforce. The Phase II CNBR will continue to increase the number of minorities in the Ph.D. program and the workforce in nanobiotechnology and nanogenomics. The center will provide leadership in new curricula development, undergraduate research opportunities and expose students to entrepreneurship. The center will continue to impact a large number of constituents in the state of Alabama by providing opportunities to high school students, hosting dignitaries, and offering seminars and workshops open to the general public. The center will work with over 15 U.S. institutions, 4 NSF centers, 6 NSF-funded programs (MSP, RISE, HBCU-UP, SBIR, C2 RII, PIRE) and will impact a large and diverse number of constituents. The center will continue to work with global partners to prepare students and faculty who are globally competitive in emerging scientific technologies.

This award has been partially funded through the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research at the National Science Foundation.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 298.97K | Year: 2012

The Targeted Infusion Project entitled - Engaging Minority Students in Software Engineering Through Active Learning - seeks to adapt and implement industry practices in a software engineering course. The project will construct, teach, and assess a course that immerses students in realworld software engineering practices through active learning. Students will work in an interactive environment in which they are instructed on new techniques and then mentored in the use of those techniques through a series of hands-on exercises. The faculty at Alabama State University will work in collaboration with the software engineering faculty at Auburn University to develop a software process that fits the educational environment.

The objectives of the project are to adapt software development industry best practices to classroom use; incorporate software development tools into a student-friendly software development environment; develop innovative learning materials and teaching strategies for integrating and effectively using software industry best practices in software engineering courses through active learning; Beta-test instructional material; analyze achievement of outcomes through student and industry feedback; and develop a web portal to provide communication and dissemination for the project community as well for other HBCUs and computing educators.

It is expected that this project to have a significant impact on how software engineering courses are taught and how students learn these concepts. The development of learning materials and teaching strategies will be guided through the participation of faculty from diverse institutions, including high schools, two-year and four-year colleges, and of industrial practitioners.

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