The National Science Foundation-Center for Research Excellence in Science and Technology has awarded Alabama State University a five-year $1.75 million grant to continue its Historically Black College and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP).
The major goal of the grant is to help ASU strengthen the undergraduate curricula, research, recruitment and retention activities in STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), with an emphasis in the areas of computational biology and nanobiotechnology.
Dr. Shree R. Singh, director of the Center for NanoBiotechnology and Life Sciences Research at ASU and professor of microbiology, said the HBCU-UP program has been helpful to all STEM departments, including biology, math, computer science, physical science and more.
"The program supports undergraduate student research, curricula development and student training in the areas of computational biology and nanobiotechnology," Singh said.
The grant also will support the newly proposed Computational Biology and NanoBiotechnology Undergraduate Research and Education (CNURE) program, which will provide research experience to undergraduates through academic and summer research opportunities at major institutions, private companies, international institutions and federal laboratories.
"The students will gain hands-on experience in computational biology, bioinformatics and nanobiotechnology, using state-of-the art facilities and other enrichment activities," Singh said.
The CNURE will be part of ASU's Center for NanoBiotechnology and Life Sciences Research. A group of STEM faculty will participate in the CNURE program to provide student training.
Graduate programs currently are developing expertise in the fields of computational biology and nanobiotechnology. Government and industry agencies also are seeking expertise in these burgeoning fields.
"The integration of curricula and research activities into ASU's STEM program will impact the education of all STEM students enrolling in targeted courses," Singh said. "The program will assist ASU students entering the STEM workforce."
For more information on the grant, contact Dr. Shree R. Singh at 334-229-4168.