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FAMU Receives $13.7M Grant from National Institutes of Health

Posted by Alonda Nicole on August 23, 2013 at 4:40 PM

TALLAHASSEE– Florida A&M University (FAMU)has been awarded $13.7 million in grants for five-years of support through the ResearchCenter in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Program from the National Institutes ofHealth’s (NIH) National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities(NIMHD).

"The RCMI program at FAMU is designed tostrengthen and expand biomedical research and research infrastructure in amajor way,” said Ken Redda, professor of medicinal chemistry and interim vicepresident for research. “Kudos is to Dr. Karam Soliman, Dr. Carl Goodman andtheir terrific team in generating this significant research funding from theNational Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. It is a brightday at FAMU."

The RCMI grant award for the period of 2013-2018 willsupport drug discovery and research aimed at better understanding the makeupand risks associated with various degenerative diseases and theirtreatment.  The grant also will support projectsin drug discovery, molecular genetics and    biotechnology research. In the area of drugdiscovery, the grant will aid in developing new drugs that can be used for thetreatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s; stroke; cancer(breast, prostate and lung); and emerging infectious diseases to uncovertargets for therapy and translational research.

            “FAMU and the College of Pharmacyhave produced nine patents during the last 10 years and that is due largely inpart to the support provided by the RCMI,” said principal investigator KaramSoliman. “FAMU is number one among HBCUs in terms of the number of patents wehold.”

 The RCMIprogram serves the dual purpose of bringing more racial and ethnic minorityscientists into mainstream research and promoting minority health researchbecause many of the investigators at RCMI institutions study diseases thatdisproportionately affect minority populations. The RCMI program will have tremendousimpact on various research disciplines (pharmaceutical sciences, biology,chemistry, environmental sciences, agricultural and engineering) graduateprograms. With concentrations in pharmacology/toxicology, medicinal chemistry,pharmaceutics and environmental toxicology, the College of Pharmacy andPharmaceutical Sciences (COPPS) has graduated more than 60 percent of theAfrican-American Ph.D. recipients in the pharmaceutical sciences nationally.

Since 1985, FAMU has received RCMI supportcontinually in excess of $54 million, including construction funding for theresearch wing on the New College of Pharmacy building. RCMI also fundedlaboratory animal facility improvements that were instrumental in theCOPPS-receiving national accreditation of its research animal facilities,making FAMU one of 500 accredited facilities from 3,500 colleges anduniversities. RCMI has provided critical infrastructure to enable the collegeto achieve national prominence and become a competitive biomedical researchcenter nationally. Since the inception of the RCMI Program at FAMU, the Collegeof Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has implemented four Ph.D. tracks inpharmaceutical sciences. In addition, the RCMI program has contributed significantlythrough the creation of advanced research core facilities that are available toall FAMU researchers, the recruitment of outstanding biomedical facultymembers, and support for faculty development research projects.

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