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WVSU receives grant for research equipment

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West Virginia State University has received funds from the U.S. Department of Defense to increase its research potential with the purchase of a high-performance liquid chromatograph-mass spectrometer (HPLC-MS).

School officials say the $325,000 award makes WVSU the only academic institution in the Kanawha Valley to offer such equipment for student and faculty research.

"This funding will allow us to continue placing the latest technology at the fingertips of our students as they expand their passion for science," said WVSU President Brian O. Hemphill. "Due to the tireless efforts of our faculty researchers, State is able to invest in and elevate our students' abilities while conducting important research benefiting the health and well-being of the general public."

The research enabled by the HPLC-MS will study methods in environmental remediation, fruit nutrition and tumor growth while preparing the next generation of scientists.

"The HPLC-MS is a major asset for research at the University," said Micheal Fultz, assistant professor of chemistry at WVSU. "This instrument will provide incredible capabilities to separate complex mixtures and analyze each of the mixtures' components for the molecular formula and possible identification."

The acquisition will allow WVSU to support regional research and educational efforts in coordination with the West Virginia Education, Research and Technology Park, the Bridgemont Technology Center, and the Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research and Innovation Center.

Bolstering the University's research capacity has been a priority for Hemphill since taking office in 2012. Since that time, the WVSU Department of Chemistry has received more than $605,000 in grant funding for equipment upgrades, including a new gas chromatograph and a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer, in addition to the HPLC-MS system.

The U.S. Department of Defense provides academic institutions with research instrumentation and equipment through the University Research Instrumentation Program. This highly competitive program supports the purchase of state of the art equipment that augments current infrastructure or develops new university capabilities to perform cutting edge defense research.