North Carolina Central University concluded the 2018-19 academic year with $33.1 million in grants and other outside funding sources for research, the second-highest funding total in university history.
The awards went to a wide range of projects, including deployment of carbon nanodots to destroy health-damaging free radicals and using laboratory findings to directly assist individuals and communities facing health threats and other problems.
“North Carolina Central University has developed a strong reputation for cutting-edge research in hard-science fields, such as nuclear physics, as well as in areas that touch people’s lives, including health disparities, sociology and education,” Chancellor Johnson O. Akinleye said. “Building and enhancing our capacity to generate outside funding enables the University to dig deeper in addressing some of the world’s most pressing problems, and train our students with the skills and intellectual inquiry models needed to become top-performing scientists and researchers.”
Award highlights include:
- $3.19 million awarded to Deepak Kumar, Ph.D., director of the Julius L. Chambers Biomedical/Biotechnical Institute (BBRI), for research surrounding behavioral and biomedical health disparities: National Institutes of Health.
- $2.63 million awarded to Faye Calhoun, Ph.D., special assistant to the chancellor for partnerships and cooperative agreements, for programs that translate laboratory findings into real-life uses and applications: Duke University Medical Center.
- $1.19 million awarded to Micheler Richardson, Ph.D., professor of biological and biomedical sciences, to address disparities in cancer research, education and community outreach: National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute.
- $999,500 awarded to John Bang, Ph.D., M.D., professor of environmental, earth and geospatial sciences, for research into how carbon nanodots interact with free-radical molecules in biological systems: National Science Foundation’s Directorate of Engineering.
- $999,272 awarded to Mohammad Ahmed, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics and physics, to study properties of neutron-rich nuclei in order to gain a better understanding of interactions between neutron stars and gravity: National Science Foundation.
- $982,262 awarded to Gregory Cole, Ph.D., chair of biological and biomedical sciences, to investigate alcohol-induced cellular pathology in conditions such as fetal alcohol syndrome, alcohol-induced liver disease and cancer: National Institutes of Health.
The year’s overall award amount was 20% larger than the previous fiscal year due to increases in funding for cancer, health disparity, and drug-discovery related research as well as new awards for STEM programs.
The only previous year that NCCU exceeded $36 million in research funding was 2003, which included $17.8 million from the Golden Leaf Foundation to construct the Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Training Enterprise (BRITE) on campus.