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Cliff Hollis

Campaign at $121 million Halfway through its eight-year Second Century Campaign, East Carolina University has raised more than $121 million, or 60 percent of its $200 million goal. Launched in 2008, the Second Century Campaign is providing resources for student scholarships, faculty, program, and athletic support, and campus facility construction and improvement. “East Carolina is being called upon to enhance its service to students, the region and the state,” said Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Mickey Dowdy. “The Second Century Campaign is vital to the university’s ability to continue that service, now and in the years to come.” The Second Century Campaign is one of the major steps necessary to accomplish the ambitious goals of ECU Tomorrow: A Vision for Leadership and Service, the university’s strategic plan adopted in 2007. To fully implement this strategic plan will require in excess of $1 billion in new resources from state, federal and private sources over the next 10–15 years. “Even during these challenging economic times, when they have chosen where to spend their philanthropic dollar, alumni, friends and supporters have chosen East Carolina in record numbers,” said Dowdy. “That remarkable support is truly making a difference at our university and we are heartened by the dedication of the Pirate Nation.” Please use the envelope inserted in the magazine to make a donation. For more information about the Second Century Campaign, please visit or call 252-328-9550.

Closer to curing monkeypox Brody School of Medicine microbiologist Dr. Rachel Roper is attracting national attention, and a major grant, for research that brings doctors a step closer to stopping the spread of monkeypox, a poxvirus that’s a cousin of smallpox. Once found only in Africa, monkeypox recently turned up in prairie dogs in the U.S. and spread to humans. Her technique involves removing a specific gene from the pox virus that affects immunity. Her research also may lead to better treatments for other viruses, particularly the human severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus. “The emergence of SARS [and other viruses, including monkeypox] may well be the biggest infectious disease event since HIV,” Roper says. Roper, former program director for the British Columbia SARS Accelerated Vaccine Initiative, was one of the scientists who sequenced and analyzed the SARS genome, proving that the virus belongs to a previously unrecognized group of coronaviruses. Now she’s working on a vaccine created by removing a gene from the virus that seems to inhibit immune responses in mammals. She’s using a grant from the N.C. Biotechnology Center to produce a vaccine that’s safer and more effective against such threats as monkeypox. Add two cups of science The National Center for Research Resources, a part of the National Institutes of Health, awarded a $504,000 grant to East Carolina researchers to study how K–12 students can use food to learn concepts in science, math and nutrition. The 2008 Science Education Partnership Award will fund the second phase of an earlier ECU study that showed that such common items as measuring cups and spoons can become valuable learning tools. “Children love anything to do with food and food preparation,” said Melani Duffrin, professor of nutrition and dietetics. “We’ve been watching enthusiastic, young students engage in scientific processes such as measurement, data collection, critical thinking and comparative analysis in very natural self-directed ways, and it’s exciting.” 5

East Spring 2009  
East Spring 2009  

The magazine of East Carolina University.