Rudrabhatla and Chorney receive NSF Training Award

Michael Chorney, professor at Penn State College of Medicine, and Sairam Rudrabhatla, assistant professor at Penn State Harrisburg, recently received a National Science Foundation REU award for a summer training program focused on minority students. Rudrabhatla, an internationally-recognized plant geneticist, and Chorney, a close collaborator with several local Historically Black Institutions, partnered to create a cross-campus initiative designed to alleviate the disparity related to minority representation within the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professions.

Although he has been the principal investigator for numerous projects, this is Rudrabhatla's first NSF science training program principal investigatorship. At Penn State Harrisburg, Rudrabhatla’s well-funded research program boasts creation of a new greenhouse and a 3,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art laboratory for his work on transgenic plants with value-added genes (vaccines, freeze tolerance and improved nutrition).

Chorney is principal investigator of an NIH-funded program called INTREPID, which focuses on promoting minority involvement in health careers. Rudrabhatla and Chorney have dovetailed these two programs to create a stronger, more comprehensive initiative that will strive to increase minority enrollment in Penn State Harrisburg science programs.

Omid Ansary, intrim senior associate dean of academic affairs at Harrisburg, has called this collaboration "a large step forward in building a true science pipeline amenable to local students of all backgrounds." Together, Rudrabhatla and Chorney, along with Malcolm Furman, faculty liaison from the Innovation Transfer Network and a collaborator on the NSF grant, are embarking upon a larger NSF application, the Science Talent Expansion Program (STEP) Center Award, that will strive to rapidly increase the strength of science training within the capital area and at Penn State.

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Last Updated May 04, 2011