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April Fogleman

Assoc Professor

Schaub Food Science Building 218B


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Date: 03/01/17 - 2/28/25
Amount: $1,071,940.00
Funding Agencies: National Science Foundation (NSF)

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at NCState trains students to address challenges in agricultural productivity, the safety and nutrition of the food supply, and the application of plant and animal products to disparate uses such as biofuels. This grant will provide tuition for a total of about 15 Masters students in Biochemistry over 5 years. Graduates of the program will be prepared to find good-paying jobs in the agricultural and food industry in North Carolina, or to continue their academic training. Currently16% of the jobs in NC are based in agriculture (NC Department of Agriculture), with over 80 agbiotech companies in the state. Training in a basic science such as biochemistry will provide students the flexibility to adapt to changes in the job market. The goal of this proposal is two-fold: 1) to diversify the workforce by providing educational opportunities for academically-talented low-income and minority students, and 2) to promote interdisciplinary research and training in biochemistry applied to problems in agriculture and human health. The grant is focused on research areas in nutrition and metabolic regulation that link biochemistry to applications in the Departments of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences; Plant and Microbial Biology; and Animal Science. Students will be recruited from throughout NC. The Masters program is less diverse than the undergraduate program at NCState, justifying the need to promote minority recruitment. The grant will provide tuition for in-coming students to complete a thesis Masters degree. Students will be responsible for paying living expenses. A curriculum and research experience will be devised for each student according to their background and personal goals. During their first year, new students will develop a strong background in biochemistry by completing the 3 core biochemistry classes. The remaining 5 courses will be based on the student's interests. A Fall seminar series will introduce students to research opportunities with the 25 faculty members from the 4 departments in CALS as well as industry opportunities in the RTP area. This seminar will promote interdisciplinary interactions between diverse labs, all requiring knowledge of metabolic pathways to address contemporary problems in microbes, plants, animals and human nutrition. During the Spring semester, students will select 2 labs to investigate further for a month each before choosing a lab for their Masters research. We anticipate the average time to degree will be 2.5 years. During the second year students will participate in professional development discussions to prepare for post-graduation. Overall this grant will provide training for low-income and minority students to contribute to solving challenges in agriculture and human health including environmental changes due to global warming, increased population pressures, and the relationship between nutrition and health.

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