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Baltimore, MD, United States

Morgan State University is a historically black college in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. Morgan is Maryland's designated public urban university and the largest HBCU in Maryland. In 1890 the university, formerly known as the "Centenary Biblical Institute", changed its name to Morgan College to honor Reverend Lyttleton Morgan, the first chairman of its Board of Trustees who had donated land to the college. It became a university in 1975. MSU is a member of Thurgood Marshall College Fund.Although a public institution, MSU is not a part of the University System of Maryland; the school opted out and possesses its own governing Board of Regents. Wikipedia.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ROBERT NOYCE SCHOLARSHIP PGM | Award Amount: 297.98K | Year: 2014

This Noyce Capacity Building project at Morgan State University (MSU) is establishing a university-community network and redesigning its five-year teacher education programs in biology and mathematics leading to secondary teacher certification. The STEM Teaching and Learning Community (STEM TLC) leverages MSUs Morgan Mile Initiative, which aims to build partnerships with local non-profits, schools, and corporations, to develop a supportive infrastructure for a successful STEM teacher preparation program. The STEM TLC provides future STEM teacher education students with emotional and academic support as they develop into successful STEM learners, effective urban teachers, and community builders. This support is needed to address the three main challenges in producing highly qualified secondary teachers in high-need schools (recruitment, persistence, and retention), which are addressed through the projects activities. The project is partnering with Baltimore City Public Schools to identify talented high school students interested in studying mathematics or biology. Long-term, this project will impact the diversity of the STEM teacher workforce by increasing the number of underrepresented minority STEM teachers in Maryland, including in urban areas, who also can serve as role models to students.

The knowledge gained from executing this project can help university-based programs reflect on what works, particularly to meet the challenges facing both teachers and students in urban environments. Research-based theories support the efficacy of purposively creating active learning environments, a community of practice, and culturally relevant pedagogy. A community-centered approach to recruitment will lead to teacher candidate persistence, in turn leading to improved retention of teacher graduates. To support the development and implementation of its STEM secondary teacher education programs, project activities include professional development for faculty and mentor teachers, tutors to prepare students for the Praxis exams, the infusion of urban teaching theory and strategies into the curriculum, and helping students secure internships and scholarships. Biology majors also have the opportunity to obtain a concentration in environmental science and to use the Patuxent Environmental and Aquatic Research Laboratory for authentic research experiences. The environmental science concentration developed through this project addresses the demand for teachers in this area as Maryland was the first state in the country to require that high school students graduate with an environmental science course. Moreover, a detailed mixed methods evaluation plan that includes tracking specific metrics and indicators and formative evaluation through focus groups and surveys will help guide the project.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 297.84K | Year: 2016

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities-Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) Research Initiation Awards (RIAs) provide support to STEM junior faculty at HBCUs who are starting to build a research program, as well as for mid-career faculty who may have returned to the faculty ranks after holding an administrative post or who needs to redirect and rebuild a research program. Faculty members may pursue research at their home institution, at an NSF-funded Center, at a research intensive institution or at a national laboratory. The RIA projects are expected to help further the faculty members research capability and effectiveness, to improve research and teaching at his or her home institution, and to involve undergraduate students in research experiences. With support from the National Science Foundation, Morgan State University will conduct research in information retrieval using search strategies based on techniques from image processing as well as natural language processing. This would enable public access to both visual information and take away messages from journal articles. This project will provide valuable research experience and mentorship for several minority undergraduate students at Morgan State University. In addition, the project will help Morgan State University build its research capacity and enhance the educational and research experiences of their undergraduate students.

Within the larger goal of expanding queries for information retrieval, the project will 1) use a crowdsourcing based approach to perform large scale manual annotation of visual regions of interest (ROIs) by pairing automatically detected ROIs to concepts occurring in a brief caption, 2) use a feature learning approach to extract discriminative features from ROIs and automatically map the ROIs to concepts in an existing textual ontology, such as RadLex, 3) aided by a visual ontology, consider the semantic relations between the visual words when assessing the distance between images described with the bag-of-visual-words feature representation scheme, 4) in addition to cross modal search by mapping image regions to concepts in ontology, perform multimodal search by fusing weighted text and image features generated by a multi-response linear regression (MLR)-based meta-learner in a classification-driven task-specific manner, and 5) evaluate the retrieval techniques using benchmark and realistic datasets by participating in the yearly ImageCLEF retrieval evaluation campaign. The labeled set of biomedical images with annotated regions of interest will be made available to the research community.

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: National Institutes of Health | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.84K | Year: 2015

DESCRIPTION provided by applicant Biological macromolecules are the machinery of life and understanding their function helps scientists to develop new drug treatments that target specific human diseases In this regard crystallization is routinely employed for the understanding of the molecular structures and the interactions of proteins with other biological and non biological materials Despite the existence of a plethora of crystallization techniques there is still a need for a technique that affords for better control over the crystallization procss in terms of producing high quality crystals of peptides and proteins in a significantly shorter tim scale In this STTR Phase I proposal we will construct a prototype crystallization instrument based on the metal assisted and microwave assisted evaporative crystallization MA MAEC technique for the rapid crystallization of peptides and proteins in minutes or hours total crystallization time which typically can take up to several weeks to complete using conventional crystallization techniques In this regard we have chosen Amyloid precursor protein APP and its components as biological macromolecules of interest APP is most commonly studied as the precursor molecule whose proteolysis generates beta amyloid A peptide whose amyloid fibrillar form is the primary component of amyloid plaques found in the brains of Alzheimerandapos s disease patients PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE Alzheimerandapos s disease is an age related non reversible brain disorder that develops over a period of years and the sixth leading cause of death in USA Recent studies estimates that there are million Americans of all ages have this disease In addition the number of people age and older with Alzheimerandapos s disease is estimated to reach million by There are three major markers in the brain that are associated with the process of Alzheimerandapos s disease Amyloid plaques neurofibrillary tangles and loss of connections between neurons Amyloid precursor protein APP which plays an important role in the development of Alzheimerandapos s disease is a membrane protein with several significant domains growth factor domain GFD copper binding domain CuBD Kunitz type protease inhibitor domain Most importantly the proteolysis of APP generates a neurotoxic A peptide which can affect neural functions and trigger cell death In addition A peptide can aggregate into small soluble oligomers eventually leading to the amyloid plaques observed in brains of patients who had Alzheimerandapos s disease Although the complete crystal structure of APP has not been solved most of its individual domains except A have been crystallized In this regard we propose new instrumentation i e named iCrystal and crystallization platforms that allows for rapid crystallization of APP and it components We envision that the iCrystal system can be applied to the crystallization of any biological macromolecule related to human diseases

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 50.00K | Year: 2015

This project supports a workshop that explores issues related to developing an introductory engineering course sequence that ensures that the requisite skills in science and mathematics are met while developing relevancy, expertise, and ownership of the student. The workshop convenes approximately 40 participants from groups who have different roles in the support in the successful entry of underrepresented students into higher education and the engineering workforce. The workshop facilitates discussion, community building, and sharing of best practices among experts from across the social, education (middle and high schools and higher education), engineering, business/government, and policy making communities. The broader impact of this project is the focus on broadening the participation in engineering by supporting pathways to success for underrepresented groups in urban areas, including African American students.

The goals of the workshop are to: 1) identify the challenges and the potential ways to identify the critical aptitude and efficacy performance indicators for recruitment and monitoring of students to enter into a pre-engineering course sequence, 2) identify the challenges and the potential ways to identify the outcomes, performance indicators, modalities and the timeline associated with a pre-engineering course sequence, and 3) develop recommendations for pathways and models for the sustainability of such efforts. Workshop participants are engaged through pre-workshop readings and materials, interactive sessions during the workshop, and follow up interactions after the workshop. Issues related to models for transferable credit to engineering programs for academic work in secondary and post-secondary settings also are considered. A focused evaluation plan that includes interviews and surveys to document the impacts of the project.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: CENTERS FOR RSCH EXCELL IN S&T | Award Amount: 999.45K | Year: 2015

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities Research Infrastructure for Science and Engineering (HBCU-RISE) activity within the Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) program supports the development of research capability at HBCUs that offer doctoral degrees in science and engineering disciplines. HBCU-RISE projects have a direct connection to the long-term plans of the host department(s) and the institutional mission, and plans for expanding institutional research capacity as well as increasing the production of doctoral students in science and engineering. With support from the National Science Foundation, Morgan State University will implement comprehensive strategies designed to transform teaching and learning in an effort to broaden the participation of underrepresented groups in electrical engineering. The project, designed to address vulnerabilities in cyber security, will impact a large population of minority students and provide opportunities for collaboration and career development for faculty. This project has the potential to contribute significantly to the pool of minority electrical engineers trained in technology that is vital to the nations cyber infrastructure.

The goal of the proposed research project is to enhance the security of cyber-physical systems while enhancing the research capability of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Morgan State University by: 1) providing Internet of Things (IoT) device security at the physical layer and countermeasures to prevent attacks and ensure secure data exchange between IoT devices; 2) developing Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty research expertise and increase competitiveness regarding security of IoT devices; 3) enriching the educational and research experience of students; and 4) increasing the production of underrepresented minority students with doctoral degrees in electrical engineering. This project will equip engineering students with innovative techniques vital for tackling challenges in national cyberinfrastructure, develop the institutions research and educational capacity and productivity, and contribute to the institutional transformation. The project is aligned with the institutions strategic goal of enhancing its status as a Doctoral Research University.

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