National Institutes of Health awards Kennesaw State University $1 million grant


Grant will fund research program to increase diversity in biomedical sciences KENNESAW, Ga.  (…

Georgia (Aug 18, 2015)Grant will fund research program to increase diversity in biomedical sciences

KENNESAW, Ga.  (Aug. 18, 2015) — The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded Kennesaw State University’s College of Science and Mathematics a five-year, $1.018 million grant to increase the number of doctorate-holding scientists from underrepresented groups.

The NIH award recognizes the strength of Kennesaw State’s biomedical research programs and its commitment to building diversity in the nation’s biomedical research workforce. Serving as the lead institution, Kennesaw State’s College of Science and Mathematics will work with partner institutions Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Regents University and the University of Georgia to educate and train Ph.D.-level scientists.

The grant is designed to annually recruit college graduates who want to further their science education, eventually obtaining a doctorate degree. Participants will pursue master’s degrees in Integrative Biology or Chemical Sciences, learning modern research techniques using cutting-edge instrumentation such as optical biosensors, next generation sequencing and confocal microscopy in Kennesaw State’s 73,000-square-foot Science Laboratory building.

As part of their individual development plans, participants will also prepare for and, upon completion of their studies, bridge to biomedical doctoral programs.

“Kennesaw State’s programs are small and flexible enough to execute highly individualized training in an array of disciplines from synthetic chemistry to developmental biology and in interdisciplinary endeavors that may take participants from high performance computing to microliter-scale calorimetry,” said Mark Anderson, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics.

The NIH selected Kennesaw State in part because it already has multiple NIH-funded researchers who will contribute to the students’ diverse mentoring and learning opportunities.

“With multiple externally funded researchers and a new research facility, Kennesaw State’s master’s programs in Integrative Biology (MSIB) and Chemical Sciences (MSCB) offer highly individualized, flexible and unique training and mentoring environments,” Anderson said.

Anderson said Associate Dean for Research and Associate Professor Jonathan McMurry will direct the program, which will draw other professors and mentors from Kennesaw State’s Departments of Molecular and Cellular Biology, as well as Chemistry and Biochemistry.

“Our goal is to recruit participants from historically black colleges and universities and Appalachian-serving institutions that are not yet well integrated into NIH research enterprises as well as from other sources such as the Peach State LSAMP consortium and other primarily undergraduate institutions throughout the Southeast,” McMurry said.

Initial recruiting efforts drew applicants from around the state and across the nation. The first class of five students starts this week. Among the participants are a Gates Foundation Scholar, a McNair Scholar and a student body president. Their research interests range from neuroscience to human genetics to virology.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Research reported in this news release was supported by the National Institute Of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R25GM111565. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit


Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 100 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive university with more than 32,000 students from 130 countries. In January 2015, Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic State University consolidated to create one of the 50 largest public universities in the country. 




A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. 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. For more information, visit