Rep. Phil Gingrey presents federal grant to distinguished biotech professor

U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey presented a $201‚000 federal grant on June 2 to a distinguished KSU professor whose groundbreaking research probes the enzymatic production of nitric oxide — a neurotransmitter and controller of vital body functions such as blood pressure and insulin secretion — to understand control and cell−to−cell communication.(For the complete story‚ please click on the headline above.)

Georgia (Jun 2, 2008) — U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey presented a $201‚000 federal grant on June 2 to a distinguished KSU professor whose groundbreaking research probes the enzymatic production of nitric oxide — a neurotransmitter and controller of vital body functions such as blood pressure and insulin secretion — to understand control and cell−to−cell communication.

Gingrey presented the National Institute of General Medical Sciences award to John C. Salerno‚ the research project’s principle investigator and the Neel Distinguished Professor of Biotechnology at KSU‚ during a campus ceremony. The NIGMS is one of 27 institutes and centers that comprise the National Institutes of Health.

“It is a privilege to be here once again to acknowledge what a great asset Kennesaw State is to our district‚” said Gingrey‚ a physician and ranking member of the House of Representative’s Science Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation.

“Dr. Salerno’s work exemplifies the power and promise of higher education‚” Gingrey said. “The work he and other researchers are doing here is absolutely essential to improving our understanding of health and science.”

Salerno’s research seeks to determine the control mechanisms for nitric oxide production. The enzymes that make nitric oxide have embedded control elements‚ the first of which Salerno described in the 1990s.

“By studying a series of control element mutants‚ we hope to provide a clear picture of how these elements function together to regulate the production of signals in response to physiological factors like blood flow‚” Salerno explained.

Salerno holds a Bachelor of Science in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Doctor of Philosophy in biophysics from the University of Pennsylvania. He has taught courses in biochemistry‚ biophysics and bioinformatics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; State University at Albany; Albany Medical College and the Duke University Medical School. A professor of bioinformatics at KSU‚ Salerno started the first U.S. undergraduate degree program in this field at Rensselaer.
The NIGMS award is Salerno’s first federal grant since moving his laboratory to Kennesaw State in August 2006. He said the grant will allow him to advance research he began nearly 15 years ago and continue with no funding gap.

As the lead investigator‚ Salerno is joined on the research project by KSU professors Dale Vogelien and Army Lester. Three undergraduate students are also working on the research with Salerno: Natalie Dinsmore; Laura Couser and Issac Assan−Mensah.




 

A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu

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