North Carolina Biotechnology Center Awards $1.4 Million in Grants for Research Equipment

Published: Jul 28, 2011

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., July 28, 2011 – The North Carolina Biotechnology Center has awarded $1,378,772 in grants to six North Carolina universities in 2011 to boost biotechnology research.

The 12 Institutional Development Grants (IDGs), matched at least 25 cents on the dollar by the universities, went to scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, North Carolina State University, East Carolina University, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

The grant program carries a maximum award of $200,000. It funds core facilities and equipment serving multiple investigators.

“This program serves a crucial need in North Carolina’s research community,” said Maria Rapoza, Ph.D., the Biotechnology Center’s vice president, science and technology development program.

“The equipment and facilities needed for life science research grows more expensive and specialized each year. By providing these funds, the Biotechnology Center helps North Carolina open doors to scientific discoveries and commercial opportunities such as new biotech companies, products and jobs.”

The IDG program is one of several grant and loan programs administered by the Center to support life-science research, business, education and workforce training statewide. The next deadline for submitting IDG applications is August 31, 2011.

Grant recipients and their IDG projects include:

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Nancy Albritton, M.D., Ph.D., professor of chemistry and chair of the UNC/NCSU Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, $195,500 -- for advanced micromachining capabilities to create state-of-the-art biomedical microdevices

Ashutosh Tripathy, Ph.D., research associate professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics, $140,496 -- to buy a microplate reader

Johnny Carson, Ph.D., director of the School of Medicine’s Core Microscopy Facility, $57,815 – to buy digital high-resolution transmission electron microscopy equipment

Alan Jones, Ph.D., George and Alice Welsh Distinguished Professor of Biology, $115,840 – to buy a CCD camera system for high-throughput genetic screens based on emitted light

Duke University

Sam Johnson, Ph.D., director of the Light Microscopy Core Facility, $115,880 – to buy a long-term fluorescence time-lapse imaging system

Geoffrey Ginsburg, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine and director of the Center for Genomic Medicine, $83,370 – to buy point-of-care diagnostic devices advancing infectious diseases biomarkers

Mark Dewhirst, DVM, Ph.D., professor of radiation oncology, $184,678 – to buy fluorescence molecular tomography equipment

North Carolina State University

Dilip Panthee, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research & Extension Center in Fletcher, $68,508 – to develop a molecular genetics research facility to advance agricultural and natural sciences research in Western North Carolina

Maxwell Scott, Ph.D., associate professor of genetics, $141,757 – to establish an insect transgenesis facility

East Carolina University

Jared Brown, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Brody School of Medicine, $143,308 – to assess health risks associated with nanoparticle exposure

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Vincent Henrich, Ph.D., director of the Center for Biotechnology, Genomics and Health Research, $39,920 – for equipment to use in the UNCG molecular/cell biology core facility to conduct real-time polymerase chain reaction and cell-culture procedures

The University of North Carolina Wilmington

Bongkeun Song, Ph.D., assistant professor of marine biology, $91,700 – for a high-throughput DNA sequencer for the Center for Marine Science core facility

The Biotechnology Center is a private, non-profit corporation supported by the N.C. General Assembly. Its mission is to provide long-term economic and societal benefits to North Carolina by supporting biotechnology research, business, education and strategic policy statewide.

Contact: Robin Deacle, vice president of corporate communications, at or 919-541-9366. Visit the Biotechnology Center's Web site at

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