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Archive for Saturday, December 30, 2000

Funding grows at healthy rate

Grants, gifts for research rise 13 percent in fiscal 2000

December 30, 2000

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Research funding at Kansas University totaled $190 million last year, a 13 percent increase, officials said Friday.

KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway called the increase "remarkable," saying it put the university closer to its goal of being among the top 25 research universities in the nation.

"But more importantly it indicates a commitment to improving the quality of life for many more people,'' Hemenway said.

The estimated total from fiscal 2000, which ended June 30, includes grants from federal, state and local government, industry and other sources for research and training, KU officials said. Exact funding totals won't be available until after Jan. 1.

The research projects include a $4 million private gift to create a world-class brain imaging center in Kansas City, Kan., and a $10 million federal grant to fight cancer.

Robert Barnhill, vice chancellor for research and public service and president of the KU Center for Research, said the school's goal is to double research funding during the next five to seven years.

The KU Medical Center's $4 million gift from Forrest and Sally Hoglund is the largest private gift for a building project in the Medical Center's history. It will establish the Hoglund Center for brain research.

When it opens in fall 2002, it will be among only three facilities in the nation with the capability of safely scanning the brain of a fetus in the womb.

The center will enable scientists to study developmental disabilities, Alzheimer's disease and stroke, while providing KU Med patients access to MRIs and other advanced brain-imaging methods.

Major grants listed

According to the university, these were among the top research grants received during the year:

The Center of Biomedical Research Excellence will receive $10 million through five years from the National Institutes of Health for research on ovarian cancer, lung cancer, childhood leukemia and tumor growth.

The grant was received because of the efforts of a group of scientists led by KU's Gunda Georg, distinguished professor of medicinal chemistry.

A $2.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation will help KU, Kansas State University and 10 Kansas school districts develop a program to retain math and science teachers. Joe Heppert, professor of chemistry at KU, is the lead investigator for the project.

KU will upgrade its Internet2 infrastructure on campus through a $1 million congressional appropriation secured by Rep. Dennis Moore, D-Kan.

Researchers in KU's Kansas Applied Remote Sensing Program are using satellite images and the high-speed Internet2 to provide farmers with information on soil and vegetation conditions. The project is funded through a $1 million congressional appropriation secured by Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.

A $2.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy will allow researchers at the Energy Research Center and the Kansas Geological Survey at KU to help develop a digital database to monitor greenhouse gases. Tim Carr, of the Kansas Geological Survey, is the project leader.

The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded research fellowships to five KU faculty members more than any other university this year and the most ever in one year for KU. The fellowships will help cover a wide range of topics, including the effect of information technology on legal knowledge; the political and religious beliefs shown in medieval Chinese Buddhist sculpture; female Muslim scholars; why the colonization of North America became necessary for England; and Latina women writers from the 1920s and 1930s.

A five-year, $2.5 million grant was awarded to KU's Research and Training Center on Independent Living by the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research. Glen White, associate professor of human development and family life, is the principal investigator.

Through a $1.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation, scientists at KU's Information and Telecommunication Technology Center are working on enabling computer users to access their own desktop files from any computer on a network through voice-recognition and thumbprints. Gary Minden, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at KU, is the principal investigator.

Through two grants totaling $1 million, KU Natural History Museum researchers will work on the Census of Marine Life project administered by the National Oceanographic Partnership Program. Ed Wiley, curator of fishes, and Daphne Fautin, curator of invertebrates, are leading the two projects.

Adrian Melott and Hume Feldman, KU physics and astronomy professors, received a $329,000 National Science Foundation grant to develop and analyze maps of the universe.

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