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College of Science and Technology Receives $1M NSF RISE Grant

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced a Research Infrastructure in Science and Engineering (RISE) award of $991,206 over 3 years to Texas Southern University to support its proposed research on Characterization of Biomolecular Response to Environmental Stress. The multi-disciplinary team, led by Drs. Shishir Shishodia (PI), Jason Rosenzweig (Co-PI), Daniel Vrinceanu (Co-PI), and Hyun-Min Hwang (Co-PI) represent 3 different departments in the College of Science and Technology: Biology, Physics, and Environmental and Interdisciplinary Sciences.

Investigators will engage in basic research to improve our understanding of general biological principles guiding cellular responses to environmental stress. More specifically, assessing the exposure of the Houston population to platinum group elements (PGE) discharged in automobile exhaust, and developing computer models for specific stress-related molecules with the intent of predicting their associated biochemical pathways.

The environmental toxicology program will be strengthened by providing financial support to minority students. A mentoring initiative for graduate students to support their course preparation, effective teaching and learning, grant writing, and research will be developed. One of the major objectives is to embrace the K-12 community and undergraduate students through summer internship programs to advance research-based learning experiences and motivate them to pursue advanced degrees in STEM fields.