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Posted: September 30, 2008

North Carolina Biotechnology Center awards 11 bio- and nantechnology grants

(Nanowerk News) The North Carolina Biotechnology Center has issued $772,596 in Biotechnology Research Grants to 11 scientists at five universities from the Piedmont Triad to the coast.
The grants, providing a maximum of $75,000, support novel research projects at academic and non-profit research institutions and allow scientists to gather preliminary data that enable them to attract additional funding.
This year’s awarded projects range from improving breast cancer treatments to domesticating truffles for their potential to expand North Carolina’s agricultural economy.
Wake Forest University scientists collected five grants totaling $372,221 in the 2007-2008 funding cycle. East Carolina University had three, worth $175,375. One $75,000 grant each went to North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
In order to allow researchers around the state more opportunities, scientists at the main campuses of Duke University, North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are not eligible for these grants. They are eligible for other Biotechnology Center funding programs.
Grants awarded:
  • $25,415 to Colin Burns, Ph.D., of East Carolina University in Greenville, to develop anti-HIV agents.
  • $75,000 to Garry Dawson, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, to study nanoparticle-enhanced separations for biomarker detection.
  • $75,000 to William Gmeiner, Ph.D., of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, to develop multivalent aptamer complexes from triplex DNA scaffolds. $75,000 to Ashok Hegde, Ph.D., of WFU, to develop an Alzheimer’s disease treatment.
  • $75,000 to Omoanghe Isikhuemhen, Ph.D., of North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University in Greensboro, to use biotechnology methods for the mass propogation, inoculation and screening of truffle-inoculated seedlings.
  • $75,000 to W. Todd Lowther, Ph.D., of WFU, to develop cancer therapies from fatty acid synthase inhibitors.
  • $75,000 to Jed Macosko, Ph.D., of WFU, to develop a nanoscale “Lab-On-Bead” that can process encoded chemical libraries.
  • $72,221 to Michael Robbins, Ph.D., of WFU, to develop a rat model to study radiation-induced brain injury in children.
  • $74,960 to George Sigounas, Ph.D., of ECU, to investigate screening tools to detect DNA damage in normal and cancerous human breast tissue.
  • $75,000 to Mary Thomassen, Ph.D., of ECU, to explore carbon nanotubes as a tool for generating an experimental model of pulmonary sarcoidosis.
  • $75,000 to Sridhar Varadarajan, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina Wilmington, to develop a breast cancer therapy.
  • Nearly $1.6 million in Biotechnology Research Grants have been awarded to 22 North Carolina scientists since the program was started in 2006. The preproposal deadline for the 2008-09 funding cycle is Wednesday.
    The Biotechnology Center is a private, non-profit corporation supported by the N.C. General Assembly. Its mission is to provide long-term economic and societal benefits to North Carolina by supporting biotechnology research, business and education statewide.
    Source: Carolina Newswire