April 13, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
WINSTON-SALEM, NC— Seven faculty members at Winston-Salem State University received seed funding awards from the University’s Research Initiation Program (RIP) to fund cutting-edge research and development. RIP, established by Chancellor Harold L. Martin, Sr. in 2005, provides up to $10,000 to tenured and tenure-track faculty to generate feasibility studies or other preliminary data and to provide resources for scholarly work in disciplines where external support is limited.
The award recipients represent the diversity of research that is taking place on the WSSU campus; research that is in direct support of WSSU’s four academic centers of excellence – teaching and learning, science and technology, health services and financial services. The Research Initiation Program, chaired by Dr. Linda Nixon Hudson – Interim Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research and Chief Research Officer – received 36 proposals totaling more than $325,000 in funding requests.
Dr. Hudson said, “I am very impressed with the faculty participation in this program. This is an indication that our faculty are interested in promoting new research ideas and in obtaining external funding.”

RIP award recipients for the 2006-2007 academic year are:

Dr. Kenneth Brown, Assistant Professor of Chemistry (Award: $10,000)
Department of Chemistry—College of Arts and Sciences
Proposal Title: Utilization of a novel ferrocene-based bis (pyrazolyl) methane ligand and its derivatives for development of coordination network solids with potential for gaseous fuel storage
Dr. Brown’s research is in the field of materials chemistry. Dr. Brown’s focus is on the synthesis of organometallic complexes and their chemical reactivity with a variety of metal centers.
Derivatives of these novel materials can potentially serve as a storage medium for gaseous fuels
providing alternative fuel sources for cars, homes, and businesses. There is an immense interest in this field of research due to the steep rise in petroleum-based fuel costs and the Federal Government’s Hydrogen Fuel Initiative.

Dr. Monica Cain, Assistant Professor of Economics (Award: $10,000)
Department of Business Administration and Economics—School of Business and Economics
Proposal Title: Assessing the vulnerability of Counties to the Threat of Methamphetamine Manufacture
Methamphetamine manufacture and use has been on the rise in the United States for several years and poses significant public health issues. Dr. Cain’s study is focused on the creation of a Vulnerability Index – a measure of the county-level characteristics that render certain locales more vulnerable to the proliferation of methamphetamine labs. This index and accompanying dynamic digital maps will provide valuable information for relevant agency decision-makers in resource planning and prevention strategies.

Dr. Morris Clarke, Associate Professor of Life Sciences (Award: $9,860.98)
Department of Life Sciences—College of Arts and Sciences
Proposal Title: Squalene: A biodegradable lubricant from Botyrococcus braunii
Dr. Clarke’s research is founded in the significant need for natural processes for the production of biodegradable lubricants. His research will focus on the use of squalene, a hydrocarbon that is biodegradable and poses little risk with its use in foods, cosmetics and nutritional supplements. Currently, commercial squalene is obtained from sharks and depletes a major marine resource. Dr. Clarke’s research will target a more environmentally feasible means of squalene production.

Ms. Judy Foxworth, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy (Award: $10,000)
Department of Physical Therapy—School of Health Sciences
Proposal Title: Immediate Effects of Shock Absorbing Insoles on Knee Pain, Functional Mobility and Lower Extremity Biomechanical characteristics in Persons with Knee Osteoarthritis
Ms. Judy Foxworth will investigate the immediate effects of a shock absorbing insole on knee pain, functional mobility and lower extremity biomechanics. Her research will focus on mature adults with knee osteoarthritis. Although there is no known cure for osteoarthritis, Ms. Foxworth is seeking disease management alternatives including pain control and prevention of functional decline.

Dr. Aysel Kavas, Assistant Professor of Health Education and Nutrition (Award: $10,000)
Department of Human Performance and Sport Sciences—School of Education and Human Performance
Proposal Title: Development of a Culturally-Based Healthy Lifestyle Program for African American College Students: An Integrated Research Approach
Dr. Kavas’ study will examine individual, academic, and environmental factors that influence health promotion and disease prevention among African American students at WSSU. The effects of classroom health knowledge and fitness activities on several determinants of health will be examined. The study serves as a continuation of research on reducing the risk of diseases and the prevalence of health problems within the African American culture. Dr. Kavas’ objective is to obtain information that leads to the development of a culturally-based Health Lifestyle Program on the WSSU campus and will serve as a model for other universities.
Dr. Teresa Singleton, Associate Professor of Life Sciences (Award: $10,000)
Department of Life Sciences—College of Arts and Sciences
Proposal Title: Analysis of Target Sites for the LTR-Retrotransposon, Tf1, in Fission Yeast
AIDS, leukemia, and breast cancer represent only three of several diseases and cancers caused by retroviruses. Dr. Singleton will conduct her research using Tf1 (transposon in fission yeast). The Tf1 virus has a life cycle very similar to the HIV-1 (AIDS) virus and the Murine Leukemia virus. Dr. Singleton’s research and analysis will help to advance the field of retrovirology and to pave the way for new approaches to the prevention and treatment of relevant cancers.

Dr. Daniel Williams, Assistant Professor of Life Sciences (Award: $10,000)
Department of Life Sciences—College of Arts and Sciences
Proposal Title: Potential Action of Insulin on GABA-A receptors
Dr. Williams is investigating alternative approaches for controlling Type I and Type II diabetes. His research will focus on the neurotransmitter GABA (gama-aminobutyric acid). GABA inhibits glucagon-producing cells, thus helping lower blood sugar. GABA acts on these cells by the GABA-A receptors. Dr. Williams will study the potential effect of insulin on GABA-A receptors in his quest for new approaches in the treatment of diabetes.

Winston-Salem State University, a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina, is a public university founded in 1892 in Winston-Salem, NC. WSSU is a historically black university that today is a recognized regional institution offering baccalaureate and graduate programs to a diverse student population. U.S. News and World Report has ranked the university number one among Top Public Comprehensive Colleges in the South for the last four years (2002-2005). WSSU currently offers more than 40 baccalaureate and seven master's degree programs to a student population of more than 5,500. The university offers programs in four academic centers of excellence – teaching and learning, science and technology, health services and financial services. Visit for more information.

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