Campus: Northridge -- August 2, 2006

CSUN Receives $7 Million Grant from National Institutes for Health

A team of Cal State Northridge professors led by biology professor MariaElena Zavala received a $7 million grant from the National Institutes for Health (NIH) for research that could impact the public's health.

The four-year grant from the NIH's Support for Continuous Research Excellence (SCORE) program will fund research and equipment in a broad variety of programs at the university.

"The faculty have worked hard to produce novel and biomedically relevant research proposals and the university's administration has demonstrated a clear commitment to improving the research infrastructure at CSUN. Together, we produced a very competitive program," Zavala said of the university's grant application. "With competition at an all-time high nationally for research support, we are truly fortunate to have received such a significant award from the NIH. We are honored."

The grant money, which is being matched with $85,000 from the university, will go to fund research in such areas as dementia, aging and women, race relations, genetic regulations in certain bacteria, genetic evolutions in certain plants, the migration of embryonic cells, cell to cell interaction in cancer, vascular systems, drug delivery in the body, the role of genetics in certain diseases, and streamlining the manufacturing of drugs.

Among the faculty receiving money from the grant are Zavala, assistant psychology professor Jill Razani, assistant psychology professor Luciana Lagana', psychology professor Michele Wittig, associate chemistry professor Eric Kelson, assistant chemistry professor Jheem Medh, chemistry professor Joseph Hajdu, physics professor Miroslav Peric, physics professor Radha Ranganathan, associate biology professor Michael Summers, assistant biology professor Virginia Oberholzer Vendergon, assistant biology professor Maria Elena de Ballard and biology professor Steven B. Oppenheimer.

Chemistry professor Eric Kelson said the grant is a "wonderful boost" to his research efforts and those of his colleagues.

"This grant is extremely important to us and provides the foundation for us to get additional grants in the future," said Kelson, who is studying catalysts for streamlining the manufacturing drugs.

"When you are applying for grants, people assume that you have millions in support money to get things," he said. "But at a CSU, we don't have that kind of money. This money from the NIH will even the playing field a little for us with some of the research institutions out there."

Contact: Carmen Ramos Chandler, (818) 677-2130,

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