New Orleans, LA, United States

Xavier University of Louisiana
New Orleans, LA, United States

Xavier University of Louisiana , located in the Gert Town section of New Orleans, Louisiana, in the United States, is a private, coeducational, liberal arts college with the distinction of being the only historically black Roman Catholic institution of higher education in the United States. Wikipedia.

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Boron-based prodrugs of phenol- or aromatic hydroxyl group -containing therapeutic molecules (original drugs), uses thereof, and methods of making the same, are provided for achieving, for example, improved bioavailability, prolonged retention (e.g., in a circulatory system) and, in particular, significantly lowered therapeutically effective dosage in order to reduce adverse effects while maintaining the desired therapeutic effects of the original drugs.

The Administrators Of The Tulane Educational Fund, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Xavier University of Louisiana | Date: 2015-01-15

Provided are compositions for treatment of cancers, including breast cancer, comprising at least one novel daidzein analog, as well as methods of using the same for preventing or treating cancer or tumor growth.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 197.34K | 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, Xavier University will conduct research in computational chemistry. This research will aid in enhancing Xaviers research capabilities and the educational experiences of undergraduates. This project may increase the retention and graduation rates of undergraduate students at Xavier University, a primarily undergraduate institution, by providing students with cutting-edge skills and research opportunities that can increase their success in STEM fields. The research and educational efforts are expected to expand the participation of groups underrepresented in computational chemistry and support the nations efforts in building a robust STEM workforce.

The aim of this Research Initiation Award proposal is to involve undergraduate students at Xavier University in computational chemistry research. This study will investigate the nature of R-X...pi interactions, a newly discovered type of noncovalent interaction whose properties have not yet been characterized systematically. R-X...pi interactions have been identified as being important in protein-ligand complexes and have begun to be used to compose new materials, strongly indicating the efficacy of this interaction motif as a building block in the design of novel chemical structures. The proposed research aims to elucidate the properties of R-X...pi interactions and compare these properties to those of more common noncovalent interaction types. This research will offer students the opportunity to learn generally about the scientific method, analysis of scientific data, and presentation of scientific results and, more specifically, to learn about the operation of computers (unix environment), molecular electronic methods, and noncovalent interactions. This research experience will offer the students a chance to explore scientific research as a career path.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Chem Struct,Dynmcs&Mechansms B | Award Amount: 200.00K | Year: 2014

In this project funded by the Chemical Structure, Dynamic & Mechanism B Program of the Chemistry Division, Professor Kathleen Morgan of the Department of Chemistry at Xavier University of Louisiana will study the chemical energy content of simple sugars and related compounds. These data are of significance in helping advance our understanding of how biomass, a renewable and carbon-neutral source of energy and chemical feedstock, degrades into useful fuels or chemical building blocks. Xavier University of Louisiana is both a primarily undergraduate institution and a Historically Black College with hundreds of science majors. This project will help train undergraduates with the laboratory and presentation skills needed for future Ph.D. studies or other science-oriented careers. Outreach activities involving K-8 students are also part of the funded project, with a focus on public schools in New Orleans.

Carbohydrates are ubiquitous in nature, yet there are still major gaps in our knowledge of sugar thermochemistry. In this study, heats of formation will be determined for simple monosaccharides having 2-4 carbons; remarkably, these values are unknown. A combination of reaction calorimetry, vaporization measurements, and high-level calculations will be used to obtain the heats of formation for sugars and related compounds such as 1,2-diols. Although high-level calculations can often be used to obtain high quality thermochemical data, the compounds of interest have a large number of important conformations, making accurate calculations far from routine. The heats of formation determined in this study will be used in conjunction with bond energies determined by collaborators, which afford the heats of formation of radicals that are involved in the degradation of biomass. Together these data will help move forward our understanding of the mechanism of biomass degradation.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ROBERT NOYCE SCHOLARSHIP PGM | Award Amount: 1.20M | Year: 2015

Developing more, highly qualified science and mathematics teachers is a national priority. Through funding from the National Science Foundation, Xavier University of Louisianas STEM Educational Engagement Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship project will offer scholarship support to thirteen outstanding junior and senior students majoring in biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, and computer science to enable them to become K-12 teachers. These students will earn their baccalaureate degrees in a scientific, mathematical or computer science major and complete a Master of Arts in Teaching degree which will certify them to teach. In order to spark the interest of undergraduate science, mathematics, and computer science majors in teaching, forty freshman and sophomore students will participate in summer internships working with students from varying grade levels in a variety of summer camps. This investment by the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program in undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds from Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA) will contribute to addressing the documented shortage of teachers of science, mathematics and computer science, particularly from students underrepresented in these fields.

In addition to the coursework that comprises the particular majors in biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, and computer science, as well as the Masters level teaching courses, Noyce Teacher Scholars will be supported during the life of the grant by participating in educational seminars, training workshops, teaching experiences and activities focusing on the improvement of pedagogy to meet the needs of diverse student populations. These experiences will be facilitated by collaborations of education and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) faculty at XULA and other organizations including: Xavier Universitys Summer Science Academy Stars Program, The Audubon Nature Institute, National Society of Black Engineers Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) summer camp, STEM NOLA, The Teacher Resource Center at NASAs Stennis Space Center, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), International Society for Technology in Education (ITSE), the NSTA Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). The United States is faced with the challenge of preparing its students to become international achievers. Researchers argue that teacher quality directly affects student achievement. Specifically, students whose teachers are grounded in content and pedagogical knowledge are more successful than students whose teachers have content and no pedagogy, or pedagogy and no content. The independent evaluation will examine indicators associated with recruitment, retention, the intern and scholar components, including the MAT, and teacher quality. The production of thirteen teachers with significant content depth, pedagogical acumen, and confidence and commitment to teaching students in high needs schools in Orleans, Jefferson, and St. Charles Parishes in the State of Louisiana is the major contribution that the STEM Educational Engagement project is making to improving teaching and learning in the sciences, mathematics and computer science.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: MAJOR RESEARCH INSTRUMENTATION | Award Amount: 300.12K | Year: 2016

With this award from the Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) and support from the Chemistry Research Instrumentation (CRIF) and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities-Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) as well as the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), Professor Terry Watt from Xavier University of Louisiana and collaborators have acquired a matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometer (MALDI-TOF mass spectrometer). In general, mass spectrometry (MS) is one of the key analytical methods used to identify and characterize small quantities of chemical species embedded in complex matrices. In a MALDI instrument, a laser striking on the unreactive supporting material embedded with the sample, vaporizes the sample and causes it to form charged particles (ions). The ions pass into the mass spectrometer where the masses of the parent ion and its fragment ions are measured. In a time-of-flight instrument the ions are accelerated by an electric field to allow further characterization. MALDI TOF combines gentle ionization (ideal for producing intact ions of peptides, proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, synthetic polymers, and other similarly sized species) with a detection mode that offers an excellent balance between sensitivity and accuracy across a wide mass range. The collision-induced dissociation enables the molecular ions to break into pieces in the gas phase. This highly sensitive technique allows identification and determination of the structure of molecules in a complex mixture. This acquisition strengthens the research infrastructure at the University and regional area. The instrument broadens participation by involving diverse students in research and research training with this modern analytical technique. The instrument is shared with students at Tulane University.

The award is aimed at enhancing research and education at all levels at this HBCU, especially in areas such as (a) characterizing enzyme-substrate interactions of lysine deacetylases; (b) developing aptamers for small molecule detection coupled to glucose oxidase as a biosensor; (c) developing hydrogels using modified nucleobases; (d) using modified nucleobase hydrogels and dendrimers with precisely defined ligand content for targeted and controlled drug release; and (e) identifying transcription factor binding sites and binding partners.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: ENG DIVERSITY ACTIVITIES | Award Amount: 201.37K | Year: 2016

According to popular and scientific literature, there is a dearth of underrepresented students (e.g., African Americans) majoring in engineering. This lack of representation is often linked to institutional culture, instructional practices, stereotype threat, and conscious/unconscious biases. The current national environment necessitates better understanding of the effects of stereotype threat and microaggressions and how they negatively impact broadening participation efforts in engineering. The overall objective of this project is to determine how stereotype threat and microaggressions influence African American students academic success and psychological wellbeing in engineering. The project outcomes have major implications for improving teaching and learning experiences for African Americans and other historically underrepresented students in engineering. They also have the potential to positively shape student advisement and curriculum development.

The project will employ stereotype threat theory, by collecting survey data, interview data, and videographic data. Specifically, this study will address the following research questions: (a) How does an interdisciplinary group of engineering educators and behavioral scientists find common language to explore psychological phenomena that impact African American students achievement in engineering education?; (b) How do African American graduates of a 3:2 dual degree engineering program articulate their educational experiences at historically Black Colleges and Universities compared to those who attend predominately White universities?; and What is the relationship between stereotype vulnerability and a sense of belonging among African American engineering and other STEM majors? The central hypothesis is that there will be a statistically significant difference among HBCU African American engineering majors on measures of perceptions stereotype threat and vulnerability scales and measures of sense of belonging compared to those African American students at other institutional-types.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 84.28K | Year: 2015

Ethical behavior of STEM professionals is essential for the progress of science, advancement of the national health, and prosperity and welfare. Therefore STEM trainees must receive the appropriate education to mature into responsible professionals that display an awareness and understanding of ethical challenges within STEM. Does one size fits all STEM ethics training result in a well-trained STEM workforce?
The goal of this collaborative project is to define, through data, STEM ethics learning communities and then develop a strategy for matching communities with resources effective for them. Through this study, hundreds of STEM trainees from four distinct higher learning institutions will each provide individual demographic and academic information, survey data, and writing samples. The data sets generated will be analyzed to determine which common qualities define ethical STEM learning communities. Evidence-based identification of learning communities will then provide the basis for strategically matching them with a subset of the many resources and experiences already developed for ethical STEM education. This study will be conducted simultaneously at campuses with different constituencies and cultures: (1) Saint Marys College, an all-womens college; (2) the University of Notre Dame, a Catholic research university; (3) Xavier University, a Historically Black College or University (HBCU); and (4) the University of Virginia, a public research university.

The methods employed will include administration and analysis of five validated scales (for learning style, personality, moral concern, moral action, and environmental orientation) and automated text analysis of student writings in three different formats (electronic journal entry, online discussion forum, and Twitter). To develop and test principles of differentiated instruction emerging from this research, investigators from each institution will design and offer pilot learning experiences combining a single established resource or approach for ethics education with one defined learning community. The resulting case reports and underlying principles are expected to be articulated in the Strategic Engagement of Learning Communities for Ethical STEM Handbook and distributed across STEM research networks, the science and engineering ethics community, informal science and education networks, and K-12 science education networks.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: MAJOR RESEARCH INSTRUMENTATION | Award Amount: 198.83K | Year: 2016

This award provides funding for the acquisition of a lithium evaporation system at the Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA). This new system will complement the existing infrastructure at the Solid High Energy Lithium Battery (SHELiB) Center at XULA and it will be used for research and training of underrepresented minority students in critical research areas such as nanotechnology and energy. XULA students will gain experience in the state-of-the-art lithium battery technology. In addition, students from GaTECH and Auburn University will come to XULA to use the equipment. The acquisition of this instrumentation will contribute to the mission of the SHELiB Center which is to provide opportunities and support systems that recruit, retain and develop undergraduate students in STEM-related disciplines. Several postdocs, graduate students, and over 60 underrepresented minority students will be impacted by the availability of the new instrumentation.

This proposal is to acquire a lithium evaporation system imbedded in an MBraun Labstar glovebox for research and education, to advance the understanding of a variety energy storage systems, with a focus on creating novel interface phenomena. The acquisition of this system will have an impact on the wide variety of research activities conducted in the Solid High Energy Lithium Battery (SHELiB) Center at XULA. This system will enable the preparation of controlled interfaces between anode materials and solid or polymer electrolytes. This will allow the study of transport and stability across the interfaces that will lead to the development of solid, high-energy lithium batteries. Participating investigators from XULA, Georgia Institute of Technology, Auburn University, US Army Research Lab (ARL), and NASA will directly benefit from the availability of the new equipment. This system will enable the preparation of the desired interfaces in situ without exposing the materials to ambient environment. Interfacial research is critically needed for designing new electrolyte systems that are stable against Li electrodes. To take advantage of Li high energy capacity electrode, the reason for their instability must be understood. The PIs have expertise and active research programs that explore these types of materials and their interfaces. The proposed projects will pave the way towards the formation of all-solid-state lithium batteries with high energy density and enhanced safety. Also, knowledge gained in interfacial processes will broadly benefit areas related to energy needs such as fuel cells and hydrogen production.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 250.00K | Year: 2015

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities - Undergraduate Program provides support for projects that offer solutions to the severe underrepresentation of African American students in engineering, the geosciences and physics at the undergraduate level. The project at Xavier University will involve a group of undergraduate physics majors in experiments to observe gamma rays from lightning by constructing an array of detectors that can observe terrestrial gamma flashes from the ground. This work will be done in collaboration with Louisiana State University (LSU). Through this project, a group of undergraduate physics majors will gain research experiences that may further their interest in pursuing a degree in physics or in a related science, technology, engineering and mathematics discipline, thereby contributing to broadening the participation of underrepresented groups in the discipline.

The project will update the scintillators in the current TGF and Energetic Thunderstorm Rooftop Array (TETRA) at Louisiana State University so that the sensitivity to terrestrial gamma flashes is increased and the energy range is extended to 10 MeV; will install a TETRA array of ten detectors in Puerto Rico in a location where the lightning density is higher than in Baton Rouge and where there is satellite coverage that will enable the simultaneous observation of terrestrial gamma flashes; and will add electric field mills, lightning detectors, and meteorological measurements to complement the gamma ray measurements and to understand the connection between the thunderstorm environment and charged particle acceleration processes. The collaboration with LSU will allow faculty and students at Xavier University to gain expertise in experimental astrophysics, a research concentration new to the Physics Department at Xavier University.

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