Arnold Line, MS, United States
Arnold Line, MS, United States

Tougaloo College is a private, co-educational, historically black, liberal arts institution of higher education founded in 1869, in Madison County, north of Jackson, Mississippi, USA. Originally established by New York–based Christian missionaries for the education of freed slaves and their offspring, from 1871 until 1892 the college served as a teachers' training school funded by the state of Mississippi.In 1998 the buildings of the old campus were added to the National Register of Historic Places. Wikipedia.

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The dihaem enzyme MauG catalyses a six-electron oxidation required for post-translational modification of preMADH (precursor of methylamine dehydrogenase) to complete the biosynthesis of its TTQ (tryptophan tryptophylquinone) cofactor. Trp93 of MauG is positioned midway between its two haems, and in close proximity to a Ca2+ that is critical for MauG function. Mutation of Trp93 to tyrosine caused loss of bound Ca 2+ and changes in spectral features similar to those observed after removal of Ca2+ from WT (wild-type) MauG. However, whereas Ca 2+-depleted WT MauG is inactive, W93Y MauG exhibited TTQ biosynthesis activity. The rate of TTQ biosynthesis from preMADH was much lower than that of WT MauG and exhibited highly unusual kinetic behaviour. The steady-state reaction exhibited a long lag phase, the duration of which was dependent on the concentration of preMADH. The accumulation of reaction intermediates, including a diradical species of preMADH and quinol MADH (methylamine dehydrogenase), was detected during this pre-steady-state phase. In contrast, steady-state oxidation of quinol MADH to TTQ, the final step of TTQ biosynthesis, exhibited no lag phase. A kinetic model is presented to explain the long pre-steady-state phase of the reaction of W93Y MauG, and the role of this conserved tryptophan residue in MauG and related dihaem enzymes is discussed. © 2013 Biochemical Society.

Roy S.R.,University of Mississippi Medical Center | McGinty E.E.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Hayes S.C.,Tougaloo College | Zhang L.,Office of Health Data and Research
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2010

Background: In the United States, asthma hospitalization rates are disproportionately high among blacks compared with other racial/ethnic groups and vary by geographic region. These disparities among asthma hospitalizations might be affected by social, environmental, and health-care access factors. Objective: To determine demographic risk factors for asthma hospitalizations in urban versus rural areas of Mississippi. Methods: A cross-sectional study using data from the Mississippi Asthma Surveillance System was conducted to compare asthma hospitalizations in the urban Jackson metropolitan statistical area and rural Delta regions of Mississippi from 2003 to 2005. Factors including race, sex, age, and household income that might be associated with multiple hospitalizations for asthma (3 or more during the study period) were assessed using logistic regression. Results: Asthma hospitalization rates were significantly higher among all demographic groups in the rural Delta region compared with the urban Jackson Metropolitan Statistical Area (P < .001). In both regions, hospitalization rates were higher among blacks and females (P < .001). Asthma hospitalization rates were highest among children (0-17 years) and older adults (≥65 years). In both regions, blacks were more likely to have 3 or more asthma hospitalizations (P < .001). Residents of the Delta had higher odds for multiple hospitalizations controlling for race, sex, age, and household income (P < .05). Conclusion: Blacks with asthma are more likely to have multiple asthma hospitalizations in Mississippi. Higher odds of multiple asthma discharges for Delta residents were not explained by race, sex, age, or income, indicating that other contributing factors (eg, environmental, social, and access to care factors) need further investigation. © 2010 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

News Article | December 1, 2015

Joshua Mann is something of an anomaly in the technology industry. He’s a black engineer. In a report in the International Business Times, Mann, who is on his way to earning a PhD at Purdue to eventually go on to design rocket engines that could transport humans to Mars, is held up as an example of the appalling lack of diversity in Silicon Valley. It’s with good reason. Well-publicized diversity reports reveal the numbers of black, hispanic, and female employees at companies such as Intel, Google, and Facebook remain low. Some minority leaders felt that investing in diversity was a good first step. After Intel made its $300 million pledge, Shellye Archambeau, a tech industry veteran currently serving as CEO of MetricStream, told Fast Company, "By putting a specific target that they’re trying to achieve, by putting money behind it, it’s going to make them hold themselves accountable to make some changes. I hope others will follow their lead." The chronic excuse continues to be that there is a lack of qualified candidates. However, the IB Times reports that African-Americans earned 4.4% of master’s degrees in engineering and 3.6% of engineering PhDs in 2014, according to the American Society for Engineering Education, which brings the talent pool to nearly 5,000 each year. There are an additional 745 graduates with undergraduate or master's degrees in computer science. The problem therefore, is the pipeline, but not because it isn’t full, as Michael Learmonth reports in the IB Times. It’s actually broken. He writes: Gary S. May, dean of the college of engineering at Georgia Tech, which produces more black engineers than any other institution in the U.S., says the schools of choice for Silicon Valley recruiters continue to be Stanford and Berkeley. This is despite the fact that 28% of all engineering degrees awarded to blacks are earned at historically black colleges and universities, according to the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). The problem therefore, is the pipeline, but not because it isn’t full. It’s actually broken. Yet even as Google claims 35% of its black engineers come from historically black colleges, they are farming those with the most recognizable names, and not Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina, or Tougaloo College in Mississippi, both of which have historically produced STEM grads. Another issue is the lack of role models. Joshua Mann did two internships at SpaceX and another at Blue Origin, the rocket startup founded by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. Although he says he felt welcomed and valued, Mann told the IB Times that he was only one of two black engineers. The others who worked there were mechanics or held other roles. The problem of being the only person of color, or one of a very few, has an impact as the employee tries to rise through the ranks. In a recent conversation with Fast Company, the CEO of Cooler Heads Intelligence, Lauren Tucker, said she’s observed that many female, African-American, and hispanic colleagues leave companies while at the top of their game—but who are not quite able to crack the glass ceiling of the C-suite. Tucker says their moves were always prefaced by the same refrain: "I need to go where I see people like me being successful at the top." The reason, she believes, is that existing executives aren’t comfortable putting their social, political, and cultural capital behind a candidate who doesn’t share a common background. Another reason for the lack of diversity, according to this report, is that while Mann and other graduates have coding skills, they are more likely to graduate with mechanical or electrical engineering degrees, which are not as marketable at software-dependent tech firms. Karl Reid, executive director of the National Society of Black Engineers, countered this with the following statement: "It’s not what you learn that matters; it’s how you learn and how you solve problems. That is classic engineering education." To address this at the applicant level, one company is taking a different approach. Saama Technologies recruits candidates who don’t have computer science degrees but do have quantitative skills in math, physics, statistics, or even psychology to go into a four-month paid training program before hiring. If more companies adopt this practice, it could eventually impact another isolating factor that doesn’t help attract diverse candidates. People tend to live near where they work. Silicon Valley and the Bay Area are mostly white. As former Google employee Jamesha Fisher told Fast Company, when she landed in the Bay Area, she became aware of a systematic stigmatism for being both black and female, which made her feel like "the odd egg." She had to work to develop a support circle of peers and mentors, in part through social media, so she could feel more a part of a community. Though an important glimpse into the current lack of diversity among the fastest moving businesses in our economy, the report also illuminates how much work still needs to be done to change the ratio. We know that diversity is good for innovation and therefore a business imperative. Laura Weidman Powers, CEO of Code2040, put it best when she told Fast Company: "It’s not [the tech industry’s] problem. It’s our problem. It’s everybody’s problem."

News Article | October 28, 2016

JACKSON, MS, October 28, 2016-- Patricia Freeman, Ph.D., has been included in Marquis Who's Who. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.An economist and educator originally from Georgia, Dr. Freeman has been an associate professor of economics at Jackson State University in Mississippi since 1998. Prior to joining the faculty at Jackson State, she worked as an associate professor of economics and management, as well as the head of the Department of Business, at the University of Mobile's Latin American Campus in San Marcos, Nicaragua. Dr. Freeman is also a past chair of Tougaloo College's economics department; she served in this role from 1979 to 1980 and again from 1985 to 1986.Dr. Freeman's own academic foundation includes a Ph.D. in economics from Louisiana State University. She has remained current in her professional community through affiliations with the Southern Economic Association, the American Economic Association, and Beta Gamma Sigma. A member of the Mississippi Chapter of the Spelman Alumnae Association, Dr. Freeman was vice president of the organization from 2006 to 2010. Dr. Freeman has further communicated her expertise by contributing articles to professional journals.In addition to her work in academia, Dr. Freeman has also been involved with a number of civic organizations. She is a past board member of Central Mississippi Health Services, Inc., Diabetes Self-Management Education Program, and a past board member of Footprint Creative Arts Institute. From 2010 to 2013, she volunteered with the. Her hobbies outside of her professional and philanthropic work include travel.Dr. Freeman received the Academic Advisor of the Year Award from Jackson State University for the school years of 2007-2008, 2004-2005, and 2002-2003. She was honored with the Faculty Achievement in Service Award for the school year of 2005-2006. Her accomplishments were highlighted in the 64th through 70th editions of Who's Who in America, the 28th through 33rd editions of Who's Who in the World, and the 28th edition of Who's Who of American Women.About Marquis Who's Who :Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the First Edition of Who's Who in America , Marquis Who's Who has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Today, Who's Who in America remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. Marquis now publishes many Who's Who titles, including Who's Who in America , Who's Who in the World , Who's Who in American Law , Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare , Who's Who in Science and Engineering , and Who's Who in Asia . Marquis publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who's Who website at

News Article | November 13, 2016

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 13, 2016 -- Smoking 20 or more cigarettes a day increases the risk of diabetes among blacks, according to a preliminary study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2016. Researchers studied nearly 3,000 black participants in the Jackson Heart study, who reported their smoking status. During the study, 466 people were diagnosed with diabetes. While diabetes incidence was similar among those smoking less than a pack day, past smokers and never smokers, the risk of diabetes was 62 percent higher for those smoking more than a pack a day. "Smoking cessation should be strongly encouraged in blacks with risk factors for diabetes," researchers said. Wendy White, Ph.D., Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, Mississippi. Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at http://www. .

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 199.92K | Year: 2015

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, Tougaloo College will conduct research to understand how heme proteins function in biological systems and what factors regulate their functions. The research project is an interdisciplinary project which will involve students and faculty in the areas of chemistry, physics and biology. The project is expected to expand the research capacity of the College and to promote student and faculty engagement in STEM disciplines. It will contribute to the Colleges efforts to produce more qualified STEM workers and researchers, especially from underrepresented minority groups.

The goals of this project are to: 1) study the dynamic structure of the di-heme enzyme, MauG, and some mutant MauG proteins; 2) determine the relationship between the dynamic properties and the enzyme function; and 3) identify key structural features that control the dynamic structures and long-range electron transfer properties of the enzyme. Resonance Raman and FTIR spectroscopy along with kinetic studies will be used to achieve these goals. Findings from this work will provide clues as to how the protein is self-regulated to perform the catalytic function while protecting itself from oxidative damage and may also help to elucidate the electron-transfer and catalytic mechanism of other multi-active center proteins or protein complexes. This work is expected to extend the understanding of the structure-function relationship, especially the roles of remote residue in electron transfer. This project will also provide training in variable temperature techniques, and protein expression and purification techniques for undergraduates. These are valuable skills that will allow students to distinguish themselves in the job market and/or give students a competitive edge when applying to graduate schools.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 1.03M | Year: 2011

Tougaloo College, a minority-serving institution, is awarding two-year scholarships to 18 talented, upper-level students with a major in biology, chemistry, mathematics or physics who desire certification in secondary education and are committed to completing four years of teaching in grades 7-12 in high-need school districts in Mississippi. The substantial curriculum is being driven by clinical field-based experiences in formal and informal settings, seminars, and workshops in collaboration with established local school districts and community partners. The Noyce Program is being structured around undergraduate and post-graduate mentoring by STEM and Education Division faculty and master 7-12 teachers, professional development activities and networking. Scholars are being prepared to enter the 7-12 STEM classroom as highly qualified, highly effective teachers and are provided resources and support to ensure teacher retention. Pre-Noyce activities such as teaching in the colleges Summer Science Program are being made available to freshmen and sophomores who wish to ultimately apply for Noyce scholarships. By establishing a strong STEM Teacher Education Program that will impact Mississippi students for years to come, the Program is increasing the number of qualified beginning STEM teachers in Mississippi and increasing the number of effective beginning teachers in schools serving economic and socially disadvantaged students. The project is establishing a mechanism for ongoing participation between Tougaloo STEM and Education faculty, increasing the number and expertise of STEM beginning teachers, and subsequently improving the aspirations and competence of Mississippi students. By building partnerships with community schools, the Program is creating a pipeline for future qualified STEM teachers to serve in area high-need schools.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 598.00K | Year: 2012

The Scholarship, Leadership, and Mentoring in the STEM Fields (SLMS) project at Tougaloo College is supporting 15 students with 4-year scholarships as they earn degrees in science, computer science, or mathematics. To augment traditional studies, the SLMS program also is focusing on leadership training in addition to community building. SLMS scholars are benefiting from individual mentoring from a faculty team of two and from targeted academic support through the colleges Science Success Center. In addition, SLMS scholars are being given opportunities for internships with workforce partners as well as research opportunities with on-campus faculty. SLMS scholars are being invited to take advantage of intensive career counseling in addition to leadership skill-building workshops and seminars. Scholars are participating in the ACTIVE seminar series in which they are building their scientific writing and presentation skills while also interfacing with the invited distinguished faculty visitors.

Intellectual Merit: The SLMS program is removing one of the major hindrances concerning minority student success in STEM disciplines, namely financial need. With a revamped curriculum, Tougaloo is positioned to increase STEM student engagement and build hands-on investigative and critical thinking skills. This program is providing data on the impact of financial support on recruitment and retention-to-degree of African-American students at a small private HBCU .

Broader Impact: The project is building on a strong base to provide everything a student needs to attend college and to succeed as a major in a STEM area. Academic enrichment, professional development, and a hands-on approach to mentoring are at the core of this program that is graduating well-rounded, scientifically literate, community-committed, minority students who are increasing the diversity in the STEM workforce.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 349.85K | Year: 2015

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) provides support for the design, implementation, and assessment of strategies that can lead to comprehensive institutional efforts to increase the number of students receiving undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and enhance the quality of their preparation by strengthening STEM education and research. The project at Tougaloo College seeks to establish the foundation for Preparing Undergraduates in STEM Holistically (PUSH). The goal of the project is to establish a multi-layered approach that engages faculty and students with the ultimate goal of developing a model for utilizing a strong academic environment to strengthen STEM education at the institution.

The specific aims of the project are to: increase student enrollment in STEM undergraduate majors, with a special emphasis in the Physical Sciences; improve retention in core courses with evidence-based teaching strategies and course redesign; and develop a dual-degree engineering curriculum with partner schools Mississippi State University and Brown University, leading to undergraduate and graduate degrees. The project will be guided by an on-going evaluation.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Systems and Synthetic Biology | Award Amount: 354.30K | Year: 2014

Environmental conditions regulate the expression of genes in bacteria. These complex regulatory processes afford microbes the ability to survive under various conditions. These cues can range from temperature to pH and nutritional availability. In members of the Bacillus cereus group, iron availability has been demonstrated to regulate genes associated with numerous pathways, including iron acquisition. Iron uptake in Bacillus cereus group microbes have emerged as areas of interest in the identification virulence factors. This group includes the human pathogen Bacillus cereus, the insect pathogen Bacillus thuringiensis, and the zoonotic pathogen Bacillus anthracis. Ferric iron and heme iron sources have been identified as critical for the growth and virulence of many of these microbes. An important iron uptake mechanism for the B. cereus group microbes is the siderophore petrobactin. A unique compound, this siderophore has only been isolated within the Bacillus cereus group microbes and the marine Marinobacter species. The level of this small, ferric chelator can be altered by both growth temperature and iron availability. While most siderophore are regulated by the ferric uptake regulator, there are no clearly defined regulatory mechanisms involved in petrobactin production, as it lacks the ferric regulator sequence within the petrobactin operon. The focus of the study will address the signaling mechanisms that govern iron uptake in response to iron and temperature. This research will involve undergraduates from Tougaloo College, a historically black college in Mississippi. The proposed project will work in concert with the Tougaloo College Natural Sciences Divisions plan to increase the African-American STEM pipeline by strengthening the undergraduate research experience and enhancing the curriculum.

TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION. Iron availability in microbes has been demonstrated to regulate gene expression. In the Bacillus cereus group microbes, several iron acquisition systems have been detected, including siderophore mediated transport and heme uptake systems. Bacillus cereus group microbes produce two catechol containing siderophores, bacillibactin and petrobactin. While bacillibactin is regulated by iron availability via the ferric iron uptake regulation, no such regulatory mechanism is identified within the petrobactin operon. The proposed study will seek to elucidate the mechanisms governing petrobactin production in response to environmental signals, including iron and temperature. Aim one will focus on identifying petrobactin regulatory genes. Transposon mutagenesis will be employed to identify Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis mutants not capable of regulating petrobactin production. The temperature sensitive plasmid pIC333, which carries the mini-Tn10 transposon element, will be used to transform B. cereus and B. thuringiensis. Antibiotic resistant mutants will be cultured for 12 hours in transferrin containing medium and then cultured overnight in the presence of streptonigrin. Microbes capable of utilizing transferrin iron, which is predicted to be mediated by petrobactin, will be killed by the streptonigrin. Viable cells will be isolated on complex, antibiotic containing medium. The chrome azurol S assay, the Arnow assay and thin layer chromatography will be used to characterize siderophore and catechol production in isolated mutants. Genome sequencing and complementation will be used to identify and confirm sequence involvement in petrobactin production. Aim two will focus on characterizing B. cereus group member phenotypes under iron and temperature growth conditions. We have observed that petrobactin biosynthesis genes are differentially regulated when cells were cultured in different iron sources and under different temperatures. Environmental and ATCC B. cereus group microbes will be cultured in iron replete and deplete conditions for 24 hours. Aliquots will be removed at specific time points to measure petrobactin production during the various growth phases. At each of the time points, cell motility and spore concentration will also be measured. Transcriptional profiling will be used to identify unique signatures associated with iron and growth temperature in B. cereus and B. thuringiensis. This study will provide insight into the complex regulatory mechanisms of B. cereus group microbes in response to environmental cues.

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