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Hughes medical institute awards $1.3 million for biological sciences research

A $1.3 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute will expand science research opportunities for undergraduates and transfer students. UNT was among 50 universities nationwide awarded $70 million from the institute. 

This is UNT’s first Precollege and Undergraduate Science Education Program grant, and its second from the institute, known as HHMI. In 2009, the university received a grant to bring laboratory research to beginning biology courses.

UNT will use its money to:

  • Bring first-year community college students to campus each summer for a five-week program teaching academic success skills and research methods. Second-year community college students will work with faculty and research projects.
  • Create the Classroom Research Laboratory modeled after HHMI’s National Genomics Research Initiative. Forty-eight undergraduate biology students per semester will conduct research.  
  • Provide financial support for juniors and seniors for one year in a biology or biochemistry lab to study topics ranging from sub-Antarctic biodiversity and plant nitrogen fixation symbiosis to developmental genetics.

Lee E. Hughes, assistant professor of biology, is UNT’s HHMI program director. The institute is a nonprofit medical research organization and one of the nation’s largest philanthropies  to support biomedical research and science education. The institute spent $730 million for research and distributed $101 million in grant support for science education in fiscal year 2009.

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