Governor Awards Research Grants to Three CU Faculty
Charleston, W.Va. – Three Concord faculty were awarded grants in January in an effort to advance scientific research at West Virginia colleges and universities. Grants awarded statewide totaled nearly $500,000. Of that amount, Concord received $45,000. Sources for the funding included the state’s WV EPSCoR program, and the West Virginia IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (WV-INBRE).
The following professors at Concord University were awarded funding for their grant proposals: Dr. Joseph L. Allen, associate professor of geology, division chair of natural sciences, $20,000; Dr. David N. Chambers, assistant professor of biology, $10,000; and Dr. Darrell W. Crick, assistant professor of chemistry, $15,000.
Presenting the grants, Governor Joe Manchin noted that scientific research and today's student researchers are the keys to West Virginia's future.
Allen’s $20,000 grant was used to purchase a Raman spectrometer, which is used to identify the chemical composition of various materials.
“We use this in chemistry and geology,” he said. “In geology, we can identify minerals and from that, we determine the chemical composition.”
This instrument will be used in upper level mineral science and chemistry courses and in research. According to Allen, this provides a rare opportunity for students in southern West Virginia to use equipment that is normally only available in major research universities.
Crick received a grant totaling $15,000 which will enable him to conduct research on the medicinal purposes of local plants.
“We are searching for bioactive compounds in plants that have a history of medicinal use,” he explained. “These plants that we are looking at are not well-studied. We then isolate whatever active compound is there and see how good it is.”
Dr. Chambers received a grant totaling $10,000 that will be an ongoing research of structural protein in cells.
“We’re looking to see if the ERMs [proteins] are the same biomedically, in lower organisms such as worms and fruit flies,” Chambers explained.
NOTE TO EDITORS: Andrea Meador a freshman majoring in English and journalism wrote this news release. Her hometown is Ghent.