CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) — A five-year $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) has been awarded to help boost academic scientific research and upgrade infrastructure at various West Virginia institutions.
“This funding establishes the WV Network for Functional Neuroscience and Transcriptomics (WV-NFNT), a statewide collaboration of neuroscientists and bioinformaticists,” according to a release from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.
The WV-NFNT will foster collaborations in the field of circuit and synaptic plasticity, which studies how neurons and the connections between them change, and it will also implement engaging activities for students, especially those within underrepresented groups, the release said.
The funding will be allocated to:
- $9,300,000 – West Virginia University
- $6,014,562 – Marshall University
- $2,001,879 – West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
- $1,738,101 – West Virginia State University
- $945,458 – Shepherd University
“Together with our research and university partners, West Virginia has made great progress in positioning our state as a leader in scientific research,” West Virginia’s Chancellor of Higher Education, Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker, said. “With this funding, we have the opportunity to take neuroscience and related research to new levels of discovery – which could impact real lives and our economic future in tremendous ways.”
Project leaders include:
- Principal Investigator: Dr. Juliana Serafin, senior director of science and research at the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
- Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Suzanne Strait, associate director of science and research at the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
- Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Randy Nelson, chair and professor of the WVU Department of Neuroscience at West Virginia University
- Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Nadja Spitzer, associate professor of biological sciences at Marshall University
- Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Umesh Reddy, professor of genetics and genomics at West Virginia State University
“Through EPSCoR, NSF catalyzes the development of research capabilities across the country, creating sustainable scientific infrastructure and communities of innovation,” NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan said. “This year’s EPSCoR awards will serve individual states and the country as a whole with critical research on wildfire management, climate change resilience, biomanufacturing and advanced biomedical devices, and data science in the service of all disciplines.”
EPSCoR is facilitated by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s Division of Science, Technology & Research.