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CSU Receives First Award of Federal Stimulus Money
for Competitive Research Grants

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Erik Fallis, (562) 951-4800

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(June 10, 2009) – Two professors at San Diego State University are among the first stimulus grant recipients at the California State University–bringing in more than $1.5 million in federal funding from the National Institutes of Health to enhance existing research in the fields of biomedicine and bioscience.

The CSU has been actively pursuing additional funding under the highly competitive NIH grant programs that were recently enhanced by $10.4 billion under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. To receive an award, grant applications must go through a rigorous peer review process consisting of panels comprised of some of the best scientists in the nation.

“Applied research is thriving on CSU campuses under the direction and care of our world-class faculty,” said Elizabeth Ambos, CSU assistant vice chancellor for research initiatives and partnerships. “University research is laying the groundwork for medical industry breakthroughs while training the bioscience workforce of the future.”

Much of the NIH grant funding awarded to the CSU will go to students in the form of research training for undergraduates and graduates, and the hiring of additional laboratory assistants.

While many of the grant applications will be submitted by individual faculty members, the CSU Chancellor’s Office is assisting campuses as a central source of information and collaboration to facilitate cross-campus efforts.

The first ARRA grants were received by the following faculty:

  • Shelli McAlpine, SDSU associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, was awarded ARRA funding from the National Cancer Institute for her research on the development of anti-tumor agents that target drug-resistant cancers. The $643,173 grant will be received over two years. She also received an additional two years of funding from regular appropriations in the amount of $630,800 slated for 2011-2012. 

  • Constantine Tsoukas, SDSU biology professor, received two ARRA awards from the National Institutes of Health totaling $814,826. The first award of $406,175 will be used to test a novel technology of cell-penetrating peptides which could lead to the design of drugs in the treatment and management of lung allergies. His second award for $407,651 will study one of the molecules inside immune cells known as the Inducible T-cell Kinase (ITK), which may improve the ability to design ways to control ITK and other similar molecules in disease conditions.

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About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 450,000 students and 46,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded nearly 2.5 million degrees, about 90,000 annually. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California.