Three researchers receive inaugural grants from Kaufman Foundation

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Three Penn State researchers are among the inaugural winners of $1.6 million in scientific grants from the Charles E. Kaufman Foundation, the organization announced today (July 25).

A total of eight grants were made by the organization, part of the Pittsburgh Foundation, to support cutting-edge scientific research across Pennsylvania.

The University received two grants totaling approximately $450,000 over two years.

Christine Keating, professor of chemistry, and Theresa Mayer, distinguished professor of electrical engineering and materials science and engineering, received a $300,000 New Initiative Research grant for "Probing the Role of Interparticle Forces in the Collective Behavior of Particle Assemblies."

Sheereen Majd, assistant professor of bioengineering, received a $150,000 New Investigator Research grant for "Functional Studies of Multidrug Resistance Transporters at Single-Protein Level."

The new program is funded by a gift from the late Charles Kaufman, who left his $50 million estate to the Pittsburgh Foundation, of which $40 million was assigned to the Kaufman Foundation to support new research initiatives at Pennsylvania institutions of higher learning in chemistry, biology and physics "for achievement in and contribution to the field and humanity."

More than 170 applications were received when the first requests for funding were invited earlier this year, according to the Kaufman Foundation.

"These grants come at a critical time due to the constrained funding environment throughout the United States for scientific research programs," said Graham Hatfull, chair of the Charles E. Kaufman Foundation's scientific advisory board and professor of biotechnology and chair of the University of Pittsburgh's biological sciences department, in a press release.

In addition to Penn State, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, Drexel University and Temple University each received grants.

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Last Updated July 25, 2013