Baltimore, MD, United States

Morgan State University
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.

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Morgan State University | Date: 2016-11-21

In this study, we demonstrated a unique application of our Metal-Assisted and Microwave-Accelerated Decrystallization (MAMAD) technique for the de-crystallization of uric acid crystals, which causes gout in humans when monosodium urate crystals accumulate in the synovial fluid found in the joints of bones. Given the shortcomings of the existing treatments for gout, we investigated whether the MAMAD technique can offer an alternative solution to the treatment of gout. Our technique is based on the use of metal nanoparticles (i.e., gold colloids) with low microwave heating to accelerate the de-crystallization process. In this regard, we employed a two-step process; (i) crystallization of uric acid on glass slides, which act as a solid platform to mimic a bone, (ii) de-crystallization of uric acid crystals on glass slides with the addition of gold colloids and low power microwave heating, which act as nano-bullets when microwave heated in a solution. We observed that the size and number of the uric acid crystals were reduced by >60% within 10 minutes of low power microwave heating. In addition, the use of gold colloids without microwave heating (i.e. control experiment) did not result in the de-crystallization of the uric acid crystals, which proves the utility of our MAMAD technique in the de-crystallization of uric acid.

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: ENGINEERING RESEARCH CENTERS | Award Amount: 99.26K | Year: 2015

Countries around the globe, whether developed or developing, recognize that having a well trained workforce in science and engineering is critical for economic success. To successfully address global challenges there is a serious need for engineering education and appropriate pedagogy that includes hands-on experience and that is based on global perspectives, expertise and success-stories. One innovation in engineering education that has the potential to completely transform the way hands-on engineering is taught in engineering programs in the developing world and in areas that are economically disadvantaged in the developed world is the Mobile Studio Technology and Pedagogy. The Mobile Studio Project (originally funded by NSF) has developed pedagogy and supporting hardware and software that provides functionality similar to that of standard laboratory equipment (oscilloscope, function generator, power supplies, among others) typically associated with a highly instrumented laboratory.

The PIs are convening a Summit to Strengthen Collaboration and Partnership between the US and African Engineering Programs to be held in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia on September 27-28, 2015. Applications that will employ the Mobile Studio Project pedagogy in new curricula will be presented and discussed at the Summit. The main objectives of the Summit are to: (a) ) establish collaborations between universities with engineering programs in Sub-Saharan Africa; and (2) lay the foundation for long term collaborations and partnerships with US universities with engineering programs. The effectiveness of the Summit will be evaluated by two teams. The internal (on-site) team will be responsible for local, immediate data collection, on-site interviews and assessment of Summit activities. The data will be forwarded to the external evaluation team for review, verification and analysis. The external evaluation team will be responsible for the design of the evaluation methodology, preparation of all instruments, data analysis, and report preparation including recommendations for change.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 350.00K | Year: 2016

Morgan State University will investigate the impact of a concept mapping strategy in introductory biology courses on the retention and academic success of underrepresented students. The researchers hypothesize students experiencing greater success in introductory biology by constructing concept maps and using them as an active learning tool will more likely be retained as a STEM major. The impact of concept mapping will be measured by investigating the correlations among course grades in two biology courses, mapping skill, ability to think big, motivation, and retention rates. The conceptual framework for the proposed project incorporates theories that support the efficacy of purposely creating an active learning environment that centers on the use of concept learning maps. The research has the potential to transform the biology learning environment from teacher-centered to student-centered with a focus on meaningful learning thereby increasing retention.

The researchers will use a mixed-methods approach involving four classes and 30-40 faculty to answer two research questions: (1) What are the measurable impacts of using concept maps on metacognition and motivation among underrepresented students in introductory biology courses. (2) What are the correlations among course grades, mapping skill, metacognition, and motivation as well as retention and completion rates in upper-level biology courses? They will collect quantitative data using two survey instruments and qualitative data using classroom observations of concept mapping and semi-structured interviews with faculty. The research findings are expected to yield insights to reverse the attrition in introductory gatekeeper biology courses for STEM majors and, ultimately, provide an alternative model for improving overall student success.

This project is supported by the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) Broadening Participation Research in Education track. This program track supports ideas to create and study new models and innovations in STEM teaching and learning, investigate the underlying issues affecting the differential participation and success rates of students from underrepresented groups, and produce knowledge to inform STEM education practices and interventions.

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.

Morgan State University | Date: 2015-10-02

The present invention relates to a recombinant cyanobacterium with enhanced halotolerance and compositions thereof, methods of producing the recombinant cyanobacterium, and methods of using the same for biofuel production. The invention also relates to transformed F. diplosiphon strains with enhanced salt tolerance.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 367.49K | Year: 2016

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) through Targeted Infusion Projects supports the development, implementation, and study of evidence-based innovative models and approaches for improving the preparation and success of HBCU undergraduate students so that they may pursue science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) graduate programs and/or careers. The project at Morgan State University seeks to infuse critical thinking and other evidence-based strategies throughout the introductory computer science programming course taken annually by about 100 students. A strong plan for formative and summative evaluation is part of the project.

This project has the specific goals to: integrate and evaluate critical thinking skills with the existing curriculum alongside programming skills; teach general problem-solving techniques with a flowchart-based programming environment and without using specific programming concepts or languages at the beginning of the curriculum; put greater emphasis on core computer science principles with less of a focus on syntax by introducing Python as the introductory programming language; incorporate visual and interactive learning; and actively engage students in collaborative learning. The desired outcome is to retain more students in the Computer Science major and to prepare them for graduate studies and/or the workforce.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: NSF INCLUDES | Award Amount: 140.60K | Year: 2016

The Morgan State University INCLUDES project will build on an existing regional partnership of four Historically Black Colleges and Universities that are working together to improve STEM outcomes for middle school minority male students that are local to Morgan State in Baltimore, North Carolina A&T in Greensboro, Jackson State in Mississippi, and Kentucky State in Frankfort. Additional partners include SRI International, the National CARES Mentoring Network, and the Verizon Foundation. Using the collective impact-style approaches such as planning and implementing a Network Improvement Community (NIC), developing a shared agenda and implementing mutually reinforcing activities, these partners will address two common goals: (1) Broaden the participation of underrepresented minority males in science and engineering through educational experiences that prepare them for careers in STEM fields; and (2) Create a Network Improvement Community focused on STEM achievement in minority males. Program elements include high-quality instruction in STEM content, mentoring, and professional development. The project will expand to include eight additional partners (six HBCUs and two Hispanic-Serving Institutions) and schools and districts in communities local to their campuses. The INCLUDES pilot will help scale innovations that target impacting minorities in STEM.

The project will develop STEM learning pathways for middle school minority males by harnessing the collective impact of 12 university partners, local K-12 schools and districts with which they partner, and surrounding community organizations and businesses with a vested interest in achieving common goals. Products will include a roadmap for addressing the problem through a Network Improvement Community, a website that will contribute to the knowledge base regarding effective strategies for enhancing STEM educational opportunities for minority males, and common metrics, assessments, and shared measurement systems that will be used to measure the collective impact of the Network Improvement Community.

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: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: EARS | Award Amount: 146.00K | Year: 2015

The importance of wireless communication on the quality of our lives and on our economy cannot be overstated. While network operators and researchers have done a tremendous job to improve the capacity of existing networks, there is a strong need to explore new options to support the exponentially growing wireless Internet traffic. This research will investigate a completely new spectrum in the mm-wave band that could enable Gigabit links for mobile users, allowing network operators to expand capacity in a graceful manner. Up to now, mm-wave communication has been mostly limited to either point-to-point links or to short-range communication for fixed terminals. Using mm-wave radios for mobile communication requires a complete rethinking and co-design of the circuits, antennas, packages, and systems and protocols. This research will explore the design of mm-wave circuits and systems at 120 GHz, enabling large arrays of radios to communicate with very high data rates (> 10 Gbps) over relatively long ranges (hundreds of meters). Compared to research below 100 GHz, this area is relatively unexplored, with only about a dozen demonstrations of working transceivers. The research team will investigate system and circuit architectures to support beam forming, beam nulling, multi-user MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output), allowing efficient spectrum re-use through spatial filtering and interference rejection. Novel circuit design concepts will be prototyped in 28 nm CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Silicon) technology along with GaN (Gallium Nitride) transistors for high power transmission. Todays mm-wave transmitters are extremely inefficient when the waveform has a high peak to average ratio (2% average efficiency), whereas the proposed transmitter architectures will increase both the output power and efficiency by an order of magnitude. The range of mm-wave systems realized in CMOS, particularly without the use of lens, will also be increased from a few meters to hundreds of meters. This research will enable the exploitation of completely untapped spectrum for 5G cellular and beyond applications.

The technical objective of the proposed collaborative research project is to focus on circuit and system level realization of a hardware platform that can enable the study of optimal beam forming and beam nulling (interference cancellation), while allowing practical measurements to be carried out on the propagation characteristics of indoor and outdoor channels above 100 GHz. Specifically, the PI, co-PI and a team of researchers will design and implement key building blocks for the transceiver to enable measurement and characterization of communication above 100 GHz. This project involves four main thrust areas to be investigated. The first thrust area will focus on transmitter circuit design and integration challenges and explore technology limits for silicon-based power amplifiers for MIMO applications in CMOS, especially above 100 GHz. The second thrust will provide insight regarding the integration of GaN transistors with CMOS to allow for high-density logic for digital signal processing and waveform shaping, and high breakdown voltage GaN devices for power generation. The third thrust will focus on antenna and system architectures to support beam forming with special attention to solving problems regarding LO (local oscillator) generation and distribution and finding the optimal configuration to minimize power consumption in a large array. The final thrust area will focus on investigating system level integration challenges from the sub-modules developed in the other thrust areas to produce a 120GHz transceiver.

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