NSF Awards $500,000 to Fresno State Scientists
Last week two Fresno State scientists from the College of Science and Mathematics, Dr. Madhusudan Katti and Dr. Hwan Youn, received highly competitive research awards of $300,000 and $200,000, respectively.
According to Dr. Thomas McClanahan, Associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs, these awards underscore the quality of the University’s faculty and their growing capabilities of attracting major support and of conducting important research. “ Our faculty expertise in research is growing rapidly, and new developments in the sciences are particularly promising.”
Biology professor Katti‘s grant, a $300,000 award, focuses on regional and global environmental changes amid rapid urban growth and declining water resources. His study, in cooperation with several other Fresno State and external researchers, addresses key questions of special relevance to the Central Valley: How does residential water use affect urban landscape and habitat structure and biodiversity? How are urban water users responding to water scarcity and to new governmental measures such as water metering? The results of Katti’s study promise to inform public education and policy making around what is perhaps the most compelling resource issue facing California and the American West.
Dr. Youn, a tenure track assistant professor in biology, received a $200,000 grant to address completely different questions. His grant will support his research on microbial genomics, with specific emphasis on E. coli. Utilizing specialized equipment funded by NSF, he will conduct laboratory research working closely with two graduate and undergraduate research assistants who will receive valuable working experience to complement their formal classroom studies. In addition, he will involve more than 50 graduate and undergraduate students as participants in the study. According to Dr. McClanahan, “experiential learning opportunities such as those provided in Dr.Youn’s research are helping to distinguish the educational experience provided at Fresno State from those at many other institutions.”
Dean Andrew Rogerson of the College of Science and Mathematics expressed delight with these latest indications of success in research and instruction. He noted that for Youn to have this award so early in his career is testament to his research ability. Likewise, Katti’s award is impressive and, in part, is due to training he received through the RIMI project, a multi-million dollar award to Fresno State from the National Institutes of Health. The NIH funding provided state-of-the-art equipment and extensive faculty training that helped to facilitate Katti’s NSF application. In Dean Rogerson’s works, “ Both awards demonstrate the commitment of College faculty to establish externally funded laboratories for the pursuit of quality research involving Fresno students.