Campus: CSU Northridge -- December 07, 2001

CSUN Receives $6 Million for Biomedical Research

Cal State Northridge's Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) program has received two grants totaling more than $6 million to develop biomedical research and enhance research education.

The grants, MBRS RISE (Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement) and MBRS SCORE (Support for Continuous Research Excellence), were awarded by the National Institutes of Health through its National Institute of General Medical Sciences division.

"We have had the MBRS program on our campus since 1993, and it has provided support for many students and faculty members," said Maria Elena Zavala, CSUN biology professor and the director for both programs.

The RISE program will help students participate in research. Its primary goal is to increase the number and competitiveness of underrepresented minority students seeking doctoral degrees in the biomedical and behavioral sciences through its support of developmental activities for faculty, students and the university.

Academic departments involved in the RISE program include biology, chemistry, engineering, family environmental sciences, kinesiology, math, physics and psychology.

Over the next four years, the university will receive $2.2 million for the project. The funds will support 20 undergraduate students and five graduate students each year through workshops, lab work, and other activities.

The SCORE program helps develop faculty research in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. SCORE's $4 million grant will support six faculty research projects for four years.

The six CSUN faculty members who received SCORE awards are Robert Carpenter (Biology), Joseph Hajdu (Chemistry), Taeboem Oh (Chemistry), Michael Summers (Biology), Michele Wittig (Psychology), Lisa Banner (Biology) and Steve Dudgeon (Biology).

"The grants have enabled our students - all, not just our target ones - to have access to some excellent pieces of equipment, including a DNA sequencer, confocal microscope and improved Internet connectivity to MBRS and MARC supported labs," Zavala said.

The program provides mentorship and research experience, paid hourly wages for lab time, a budget for travel and research supplies and materials, and tuition and fees for graduate students.

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