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Wilberforce, OH, United States

Central State University, commonly referred to as CSU, is a historically black university located in Wilberforce, Ohio, United States. Central State University is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Established by the state legislature in 1887 as a two-year program for normal and industrial training, it was originally located with Wilberforce University, a four-year institution devoted to classical academic education. In 1941 the college gained a four-year curriculum, independent status in 1947, and was renamed as Central State College in 1951. With further development, it gained university status in 1965. Wikipedia.

Zhang J.,University of Michigan | Liang Y.,Central State University | Zhang Y.,University of Michigan
Structure | Year: 2011

One of critical difficulties of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations in protein structure refinement is that the physics-based energy landscape lacks a middle-range funnel to guide nonnative conformations toward near-native states. We propose to use the target model as a probe to identify fragmental analogs from PDB. The distance maps are then used to reshape the MD energy funnel. The protocol was tested on 181 benchmarking and 26 CASP targets. It was found that structure models of correct folds with TM-score >0.5 can be often pulled closer to native with higher GDT-HA score, but improvement for the models of incorrect folds (TM-score <0.5) are much less pronounced. These data indicate that template-based fragmental distance maps essentially reshaped the MD energy landscape from golf-course-like to funnel-like ones in the successfully refined targets with a radius of TM-score ∼0.5. These results demonstrate a new avenue to improve high-resolution structures by combining knowledge-based template information with physics-based MD simulations. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: CHEMICAL & BIOLOGICAL SEPAR | Award Amount: 58.68K | Year: 2012

The proposed project focuses on the development of a mathematical model that describes the binding equilibria of large biological macromolecules. It is anticipated that our work will lead to a robust model capable of simulating single and multicomponent isotherms for biomolecules interacting with a variety of adsorbents. The Gillespie stochastic algorithm is proposed to simulate multi-component biomolecule isotherms. This method has been successfully used to simulate reversible protein binding onto DNA active sites. The Gillespie approach was selected because it has the needed flexibility to model multi-component protein isotherms on a variety of adsorbents. In this proposal the colloidal model will be used in conjunction with the Gillespie algorithm to calculate the probability of binding interactions. Specifically the colloidal model (CM) will be used to model single component isotherms. Successful modeling of single component isotherms using the CM approach requires accurate knowledge of the free energy contribution associated with adsorption. Once the free energy is known the relative probability of adsorption for each biomolecule in a multicomponent mixture can be estimated, thus facilitating the simulation of a multicomponent isotherm with the Gillespie approach.

The adsorption of large biological macromolecules onto ion-exchange surfaces is traditionally assumed to be driven by electrostatics. In prior publications we have presented data showing that the release of water from the contact surface of the protein and the ion-exchange adsorbent is also a key driving force. This conclusion is further supported by endothermic heats of adsorption. Endothermic heats of adsorption are an indication that the adsorptive driving force is not solely comprised of simple electrostatics. We have incorporated this data into a colloidal model and successfully simulated single component protein adsorption isotherms using an ion-exchange adsorbent. We are proposing to expand our investigation of this phenomenon by incorporating a larger selection of biological macromolecules and adsorbents in this study. We will use both cation exchange adsorbents, anion exchange adsorbents and hydrophobic interaction adsorbents in this study. Chromatographic adsorbents provide a convenient platform because we have the capability to synthesize materials with different functionalities. Surface characteristics such as charge density and hydrophobicity can be varied. We intend to calculate the free energy contributions of the various adsorptive mechanisms such as electrostatics, van der Waals interactions, water-release and repulsive interactions. Moreover we will incorporate these effects into a colloidal model to simulate single component isotherms. It is also proposed to simulate multi-component isotherms using the Gillespie stochastic algorithm. We anticipate the development of a flexible, user friendly model that can be used to simulate multi-component equilibria involving large macromolecules such as proteins or supercoiled DNA. Moreover the ability to model the adsorption equilibria of macromolecules is important because successful simulations are an indication that we have a fundamental understanding of the adsorptive/binding process. It is anticipated that a breakthrough in our mathematical understanding of protein adsorption onto functionalized surfaces will have a transformative effect in the areas of chromatographic separations and material development for biomedical applications. Moreover since we will develop these mathematical modeling tools using desktop applications such as Matlab, a secondary transformative effect is also anticipated because chemists and biologists will have access to the same set of modeling tools as engineers to construct models for their specific application.

This project will support two undergraduate students each year during the life of the grant. The outreach component of this proposal includes research opportunities for undergraduates from underrepresented groups. Moreover a new course that covers the adsorption and purification of proteins will also be offered. The course will be open to graduate students and undergraduates with the proper prerequisites. The models and teaching materials developed from this project will be made available to the public through the Miami University website.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2013

Wright State University (Lead)
Miami University Oxford Campus
Central State University

This effort is building on a previous NSF supported CCLI project Evolvable wireless laboratory design and implementation for enhancing undergraduate wireless engineering education, in which the team developed and demonstrated lower cost, software defined radio (SDR) based laboratories for three undergraduate courses. The collaborating team is now extending and expanding the software defined radio based laboratories throughout the communication and networking curriculum at multiple institutions. The project is developing a suite of experiments and laboratories for insertion in a sequence of courses (ranging from freshmen year introductory course - to senior year elective courses and capstone design projects) that vertically integrates the SDR-based experiment approach.

The three largest sub-disciplines within electrical and computer engineering (ECE) are computers, communications and power. Wireless technology requires all three to be addressed in a related engineering degree program. The recent availability of inexpensive software radio platforms makes it possible to create a hands-on educational experience for all ECE undergrads. The team is producing a scalable and transferable model for redesigning undergraduate electrical engineering and computer science courses to include lab-based learning opportunities for students in more classes.

The project is evaluating and comparing the teaching effectiveness of the SDR approach to that of traditional hardware equipment approach. The SDR approach and laboratory suite are being implemented and institutionalized at the three participating institutions - Wright State University, Miami University (a mostly undergraduate serving institution), and Central State University (an HBCU) - to study the potential for enhancing student learning and adaptation by other institutions.

The project is positively impacting STEM education in the state of Ohio. It is also helping recruit high school students into STEM fields and benefiting a diverse population of students. The participation of Central State University (a HBCU) is helping to recruit and train minority students and serving as an example for other minority institutions in the nation. The cutting-edge technology on which the proposed course lab development is relatively inexpensive; while the software used is GNU software radio, which is free and has a large supporting community.

The project materials and the results of evaluation & assessment are being broadly disseminated and made freely available via a course website, publications, and potential books. Results from the effort are informing the development of a national model for wireless communication & networking courses. The project is helping to develop and produce a workforce with the skills necessary to meet the societal demand of the new wave of wireless IT.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: RES EXP FOR TEACHERS(RET)-SITE | Award Amount: 176.41K | Year: 2014

This award provides funding for a three year standard collaborative award to support a Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) in Engineering and Computer Science Site program at the University of Dayton (UD), Central State University (CSU), and Wright State University (WSU) entitled, Collaborative Research: Collaborative RET Site-Inspiring Next Generation High-skilled Workforce in Advanced Manufacturing and Materials, under the direction of Dr. Margaret Pinnell, Dr. Leanne Petry, and Dr. Ahsan Mian. The University of Dayton will serve as the lead institution on this collaborative Site.

The Site will target teachers from Ohio Region 10 districts eligible for School Improvement Support, and from partner schools (Dayton Early College Academy (DECA) and Dayton Regional STEM School (DRSS). After participation in this RET, teachers will continue their professional development through ongoing engagement with the PIs at all three institutions and the DRSC and will be prepared for leadership roles in their K-12 setting. Participants will achieve long-term collaborative partnerships with the university research community, engineering professionals, and the DRSC.

The project will have a significant impact on the Dayton area and the engineering community nationwide by promoting engineering in K-12 STEM curriculum and recruiting teachers from high-needs and urban schools. It will also strengthen regional partnerships and collaborative relationships that support both STEM education at all levels and advanced manufacturing and materials development.

The new era of manufacturing will require highly skilled STEM professionals. As such, educators need to inspire youth to pursue STEM disciplines. This collaborative RET Site will leverage and sustain a prior UD RET Site and provide a total of 54 in-service and pre-service middle and high school STEM teachers, 18 per year over three years, with an intensive and transformative six week real world research experience that is thematically centered on materials and advanced manufacturing, a regional strength and economic cluster. The Site will facilitate this immersion by placing teachers teachers with research mentors at one of the three participating universities to work on projects that connect with regional strengths in advanced manufacturing and materials. The RET experience will be enhanced through a materials boot camp, industry and laboratory tours and extensive interaction with a wide variety of STEM professionals through the Dayton Regional Stem Center (DRSC).

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 1.11M | Year: 2014

Implementation Projects provide support to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to design, implement, study, and assess comprehensive institutional efforts to increase the number of students receiving undergraduate degrees in STEM and enhance the quality of their preparation by strengthening STEM education and research. The project at Central State University seeks to build on previous successful efforts to increase participation of African-American students in STEM disciplines. The institution seeks to address low first year retention and persistence in the STEM areas. Central State University recognizes that the need to improve learning practices must be addressed. To address the issue of high unemployment levels for veterans in the state of Ohio, Central State University will increase educational opportunities for veterans in STEM fields.

The goal of the project is to improve retention and persistence rates by adopting evidence-based strategies to include: enhancement of the universitys cyber-infrastructure for anytime, anywhere, anyone learning; development and assessment of innovative teaching and learning techniques in STEM curricula; enhancement of undergraduate student research experiences; faculty professional development in effective STEM teaching pedagogy and research; and the creation of new approaches to recruitment and retention of undergraduate STEM students. Through the evaluation plan, the impact of infusion of cyber-pedagogy and integration of experiential learning on traditional students and veterans will be studied and disseminated.

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