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VOLUME 1

ISSUE 1

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H I STO R I C U N I V E R S I T I E S. H I S T O R I C D I S C O V E R I E S.

GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER AND HIS

ENDURING LEGACY

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Professor Shengmin Sang’s groundbreaking and patented work on a family of novel aspirinderived compounds could someday be useful in treating and preventing colon cancer, heart disease and other disorders. It has already been exclusively licensed to SARISA Therapeutics of Minneapolis.

Innovation lives here. It always has. Since our beginning, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has been a community of discoverers. Of curious minds and passionate hearts. From the faculty and students revolutionizing metallic biomaterials at our NSF Center for Engineering Research to the scientists at our 500-acre University Farm creating better ways to feed a hungry planet, we focus on issues that matter and questions that count. That has made N.C. A&T a doctoral university with higher research activity, one of the top three research campuses in the University of North Carolina system, a national leader in STEM and America’s top producer of AfricanAmerican engineers.

We’re not done. As A&T enters a new year, we are launching new engineering graduate programs, expanding in health and human sciences and building upon last year’s growth in patent and tech transfer activity. Our scientists are pioneering treatments for cancer, reducing allergens in food, developing environmentally friendly construction materials, improving shields against cyberattacks and much, much more. We applaud HBCU Research on its first issue and for shining a light on “the innovative research, scientists and students” at A&T and campuses around the country. We look forward to reading — and to being read about! Aggies Discover. Aggies Create. AGGIES DO!

www.ncat.edu/research N.C. A&T is an AA/EEO- and ADA-compliant institution.


SCIENCE

wisdom

Charles Richard Drew (June 3, 1904 – April 1, 1950) was an American physician, surgeon and medical researcher. His research on blood transfusions improved techniques for blood storage and led to the development of large-scale blood banks.

E

- CHARLES DREW

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IMAGE COURTESY OF HOWARD UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES

xcellence of performance will transcend artificial barriers created by man.


CONTENTS FEATURES HBCU RESEARCH JUNE/JULY 2017

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COVER STORY

GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER AND HIS ENDURING LEGACY Born into slavery, George Washington Carver unshackled his mind and freed himself to serve humanity, creating ripple effects for centuries.

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40

CRACKING THE (PEANUT ALLERGY) CODE Researchers at North Carolina A&T and Fayetteville State University have been unraveling the knotty problem of peanut allergens, tackling multiple approaches to the issue.

COVER ILLUSTRATION J. TODD GREENE

KEEPERS OF OUR HISTORY Stored in repositories, archives and vaults of institutions, there is tremendous history from the HBCU community that illuminates the past. Future generations can learn about the great accomplishments of ancestors who have come before them.

After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 1992, J. Todd Greene has worked as a full-time artist, illustrator, art handler and graphic facilitator. His introspective work speaks of paradox and spirituality using acrylics, oils, mixed media, sculpture and constructions. He has produced numerous solo and group exhibitions and has seven pieces in the Tennessee State Museum’s permanent collection. Greene’s work has appeared in national and local publications, including Time magazine. Having taught drawing and painting at educational institutions, he currently assists local and corporate clients and has a studio in downtown Nashville, TN. For more information, visit jtgreene.com

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SCIENCE

wisdom Ernest Everett Just (August 14, 1883 – October 27, 1941) was a pioneering African-American biologist, academic and science writer. He is most recognized for the fundamental role of the cell surface in the development of organisms.

e feel the beauty of nature because we are part of nature and because we know that however much in our separate domains we abstract from the unity of Nature, this unity remains.

- ERNEST EVERETT JUST

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CONTENTS DEPARTMENTS HBCU RESEARCH JUNE/JULY 2017

03 SCIENCE WISDOM

Quotes from scientists and others who inspire and intrigue. Charles Drew: page 04, Ernest E. Just: page 06, Mae Jemison: page 14, Marie M. Daly: page 20, Franklin D. Roosevelt: page 28, Katherine Johnson: page 34, George Washington Carver: page 44, Dr. Larry Robinson: page 62, Madame C.J. Walker: page 76

15 POWER OF RESEARCH

Discover the power that Henrietta Lacks still holds and learn how Fisk University is achieving remarkable results. Long Live Lacks: page 16, Fisk: Excellence Recognized: page 18

21 HOT IN THE LABS

Discover what’s hot and happening in HBCU labs. Natural Super Cocktail Kills Cancer?: page 22, Combating Deadly Diseases: page 24, Underwater Research Makes Waves: page 26

35 WOMEN OF SCIENCE

Paying tribute to women who have and are making a difference. A Model Scientist: page 36, Banishing Blindness: page 39

54 RESEARCH TO REVENUE

Success stories that describe how advanced research is turned into profit. When Tinkering Turns Super: page 54

11 PUBLISHER’S LETTER 12 HBCU CONTRIBUTORS

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@ THE CO-LAB Where community, government and STEM practitioners collaborate. Making Strides: Attracting Minorities to Science: page 64, Working with Government: The DoD Mentor-Protégé Program: page 65, UNCF: A Critical Partner for HBCUs: page 67

68 RESEARCH 360

Watching the evolution of research as the old influences the new. Nanotech Reaps Big Rewards: page 68

71 STEM-WORTHY

Telling great stories from the Science,Technology, Engineering and Mathematics communities. Reaching the Stars: page 71

72 SOCIAL SIDE OF RESEARCH

Events where science and the community intersect. The Global March for Science: page 72

77 NEXT GENERATION SCIENTIST

Honoring young scientists who hope to lead the way tomorrow. Astronaut in Training: page 78, One to Watch: page 81

85 LAST LOOK

A snapshot of some of our favorite stories from the inaugural issue.

45

SPECIAL SECTION

Our quest to find promising young scientists in the making. Howard Heads West: page 47, Black Girls Code: page 48

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Sandra Long PUBLISHER & EDITOR IN CHIEF MANAGING EDITOR

Nicholas Harland CREATIVE DIRECTION

Coin d’ Art 118 COPY EDITORS

Tara Farquhar J. Lisa Williams ART DIRECTORS

Katy Alley-Barrett Matt Williams George Walker CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

OUR

MISSION HBCU RESEARCH is the premier magazine dedicated to highlighting scientists, innovative research and students in the HBCU community. Written in an informative and engaging format, the magazine is designed to help facilitate collaborations among academia, government, industry and the community.

Madelyn Pennino Justin Stokes Lucas Munson Terri R. Schab Dr. Nickie Harris-Ray Sim Risso Karla Lant April Knight Nicole Eggebraaten Scott Ringwelski Chantal Donnan Amanda Larrison Cody Chandler Drake Davis Nicole Caldwell RESEARCH DIRECTOR

Rohit Agarwal EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO THE EDITOR IN CHIEF

Mae Estes, SLA Worldwide Special Thanks to Katie Hildreth & Shawn Carnes

OF A KIND Just like George Washington Carver, whose research moved a country forward, HBCU RESEARCH is one of a kind. The first research lifestyle magazine to highlight the significance that HBCU research has had in the U.S., HBCU RESEARCH is devoted to shining a national spotlight on Historic Universities making Historic Discoveries today.

TO SUBSCRIBE, VISIT HBCUresearch.com/subscribe

202 795 7110 WASHINGTON BUREAU 1200 G Street, NW | Suite 800 | Washington, DC 20005 EDITORIAL OFFICE 424 Church Street | Suite 2000 | Nashville, TN 37219 For information on reprints and e-prints, please email reprints@HBCUresearch.com. HBCU Research Magazine is published by HBCU Research, Inc. All correspondence should be addressed to: 1200 G Street NW, Suite 800, Washington, D.C. 20005. The HBCU Research trademark and logo are owned by HBCU Research, Inc., a SLA Worldwide company. Copyright (c) 2017. Printed in the United States of America. HBCU Research Magazine does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the quality, accuracy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of any information, product or service represented within our magazine or website. The information provided is for educational or entertainment purposes only. Anyone using the information provided by HBCU Research, whether medical, legal, business or other, does so at their own risk, and by using such information agrees to indemnify HBCU Research from any and all liability, loss, injury, damages, costs and expenses (including legal fees and expenses) arising from such use. HBCU Research Magazine does not endorse or recommend any article, product, service or information found within said articles. The views and opinions of the authors who have submitted articles to HBCU Research Magazine belong to them and do not necessarily reflect the views of HBCU Research or its staff.

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UPCOMING History and the Future of Innovation The Politics of Research / Government Research Funding / HBCU Sustainability The Engineering Issue: Aerospace, Aviation and Material Science Research: The Year in Review / HBCU of the Year Chemistry: For the Love of Research CarverNEXT: The Student Issue Agriculture and Food Science HBCU Leadership: The President’s Issue Medicine and Life Sciences

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PUBLISHER’S

letter

WELCOME TO THE

INAUGURAL ISSUE HBCU RESEARCH OF

I am deeply honored to introduce HBCU RESEARCH magazine dedicated to advancing science through stories of pioneering research. Historically Black Colleges and Universities represent a tremendous source of accomplishment for not only the African-American community but the entire nation. Now is the time to shine a light on people and institutions whose innovative work promises to shape the world for generations to come. Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good story. What they may not know from my career in government and politics is that I come from a long line of authors and publishers. So, when I learned about Henry E. Baker Jr. who devoted his life to illuminating the fascinating histories of African-American inventors, his story inspired me to embark on this journey. Countless stories of ingenuity and persistence in research are waiting to be told. Few figures exemplify the traits and values of scientific inquiry better than the subject of our premier cover story, Dr. George Washington Carver. He was a scientist and inventor whose driving force was his quest for knowledge in service of the greater good. Born into slavery, he became one of the top African-American intellectuals of his time. Hired to teach at the renowned Tuskegee University (then Institute) he consulted global leaders worldwide from Henry Ford and Theodore Roosevelt to Mahatma Gandhi. Inspired by the magnitude of Carver’s achievements, we look ahead for the next great scientist in our CarverNEXT section. We also honor our past via the trailblazing researchers Patricia Bath, Lonnie Johnson and Charles Drew, among others. If you don’t know them now, you will. We share stories of novel and significant collaborations among HBCUs, government and industry with impacts far beyond the lab. As Dr. Carver said, “Education, in the broadest of truest sense, will make an individual seek to help all people, regardless of race, regardless of color, regardless of condition.” We share his mission and, in doing so, welcome your stories, ideas and suggestions.

IMAGE COURTESY OF EMANUEL ROLAND

It is a privilege to have you with us on this exciting and important journey. May you find inspiration and enlightenment in these pages.

SANDRA LONG PUBLISHER AND EDITOR IN CHIEF

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HBCU RESEARCH

contributors

HBCU RESEARCH

EDITORS

NICHOLAS HARLAND MANAGING EDITOR

TARA FARQUHAR COPY EDITOR

MADELYN PENNINO SENIOR WRITER

Nicholas Harland holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in marketing and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature along with diplomas in copywriting and business journalism. His experience as editor for a leading business management magazine in South Africa prepared him for the role of managing editor for HBCU RESEARCH. He moved to Nashville,TN from Johannesburg, South Africa in 2016 and is relishing the opportunity to learn and grow.

Tara Farquhar has worked as an editor, writer and photographer in the news, educational, lifestyle and financial industries for about 15 years. A native Southerner, she hails from TX and FL and now lives with her husband and three cats in Nashville, TN. She is currently working on a book about growing up in the Deep South and Acadiana.

A writer and editor, Madelyn Pennino specializes in issues related to education. During her career, Pennino has worked as a newspaper reporter, web journalist, editor and as a television anchor in various news markets along the East Coast. Pennino has a bachelor’s in English writing and communications rhetoric from the University of Pittsburgh.

HEATHER FOUST EDITOR

Heather Foust is an Iowa State University graduate of the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication. She has worked as a newspaper reporter in Iowa, North Carolina and Connecticut and has been a freelance writer and editor for many years. She currently resides in Nashville,TN.

J. LISA WILLIAMS COPY EDITOR

J. Lisa Williams graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK. She has varied editing and proofreading experience in the insurance, nonprofit and advertising sectors and has contributed to publications ranging from contemporary to technical. Williams resides in Colorado and enjoys exploring the terrain.


HBCU RESEARCH

WRITERS

DR. NICKIE HARRIS-RAY WRITER

KARLA LANT WRITER

LUCAS MUNSON WRITER

Dr. Nickie M. Harris-Ray leverages more than 15 years of experience to provide an exper t’s point of view to medical care. As well as being a health provider, Dr. Harris-Ray has been in education for more than 10 years as a college professor of Allied Health. Teaching for two colleges, she has three science degrees (Bachelor’s in Chemistry, Master’s in Public Health and Doctorate of Podiatric Medicine). In addition to her work as a medical provider, she is also a published scientific author and writer who has been contributing to various periodicals for more than 15 years. She is a member of several civic, community and masonic organizations.

Karla Lant is an experienced writer, journalist, editor and adjunct professor. She focuses on science, technology, politics, diversity, education and technical writing. She researched and taught gender, race and class studies at the University of Alabama and studied law at Columbia.

Lucas Munson is a writer and editor who lives in Virginia Beach with a huge pile of books that he is nowhere near finished reading. He is committed to social change, most recently working on a major political campaign.

SIM RISSO WRITER

Sim Risso received his start writing for The Union Democrat in Sonora, CA, where he covered high school spor ts. He also worked as a copy editor and featured columnist for Bleacher Report. For the last two years, he’s worked as a writer for the Central Valley Business Journal. He grew up and lives in Stockton, CA.

TERRI SCHAB WRITER

Terri Schab has spent most of her career as an environmental scientist, trudging in heavy brush and rain, investigating mushrooms and designing wetlands and salmon habitats. She has written for the Seattle PI, Sciencing, Synonym, and WordPress. She also edits journal manuscripts and popular science books.

HBCURESEARCH.COM

JUSTIN STOKES WRITER

Justin Stokes graduated from MTSU, crafting his love for stories while creating the pilot vehicle for their film program. He is honing his skills as a journalist and professional writer with credits at The Nashville Scene, The Tennessean, 12th and Broad, The Williamson Herald, Country Weekly, SplitSider, AXS, and CMT.com.

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SCIENCE

wisdom Mae Jemison (October 17, 1956) is an American engineer, physician and NASA astronaut. She became the first African-American woman to travel into space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. She currently runs the 100 Year Starship Organization.

t is important for scientists to be aware of what our discoveries mean, socially and politically. It’s a noble goal that science should be apolitical, acultural, and asocial, but it can’t be, because it’s done by people who are all those things.

- MAE JEMISON

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THE

POWER OF

RESEARCH


THE POWER OF

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LONG LIVE LACKS! BY JUSTIN STOKES

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The only par t of her great research legacy that Lacks ever knew was a biopsy she received for her cervical cancer. Unfor tunately, in 1951 at the age of 30, she died. Unbeknownst to her or her family, her biopsy tissue sample was used by a team at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The team later grew the tissue samples in petri dishes outside the human body. The tissue, called “HeLa cells�, provided the first immortal cell line and provided scientists a way to safely study disease and conduct other research. The HeLa cell research has led to vaccine development, research for diseases and cloning. Over 60,000 ar ticles have been written on HeLa cell research.

In April, HBO aired The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a movie produced by Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball. The movie was based on the book with the same title, written by Rebecca Skloot. The book launched the conversation about the moral gray areas of medical research, such as the legal ramifications of profiting from human tissue; the full disclosure of discarded material following hospital care; and prejudice in the medical community.

IMAGE COURTESY OF THE LACKS FAMILY

Henrietta Lacks, who died because of cervical cancer, never knew that the cells harvested from her biopsy would go on to live in perpetuity and provide valuable research data for a variety of purposes.

obacco farmer and mother of five, Henrietta Lacks never donned a lab coat, yet she provided the crucial research for the polio vaccine, cloning, in vitro fertilization, AIDS and cancer.


BOOK COVER IMAGE COURTESY OF THE CROWN PUBLISHING GROUP, OPRAH WINFREY IMAGE COURTESY OF JSTONE, CELL IMAGE COURTESY OF THE LACKS FAMILY AND HEITI PAVES

HeLa cells.

Left: Oprah Winfrey, producer and star of the film The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Below: Book cover for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory published a study on the genetic makeup of HeLa cells in March of 2013. This caused the Lacks’ grandchildren to ask the lab to withdraw the paper as they were afraid that personal medical information about their family could be gained by the public. The lab pulled the paper and apologized to the family. The family worked with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and ethicists from Johns Hopkins to talk about the future of proceeding with publishing any information about the HeLa cells. In August of 2013, the National Institute of Health announced that Lacks’ gene data will only be accessible to those who apply for and are granted permission. Researchers who are granted use of the HeLa cells must acknowledge the Lacks’ family in their publications. Throughout the years, research from the HeLa cells created revenue, but the Lacks’ family never received credit or compensation. To learn more about Henrietta Lacks and her family, visit: lacksfamily.net


Fisk University was the first ever HBCU to receive an R&D 100 Award, the “Oscar� of science, and to date they have won four.


THE POWER OF

research

FISK EXCELLENCE RECOGNIZED BY JUSTIN STOKES

IMAGE COURTESY OF KENN STILGER

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olleges and universities distinguish themselves from each other in any number of ways. While some rely on the academic performance of particular programs or job placement, others rely on peer recognition to make a distinct impression.

For Fisk University, one of the distinctions that sets them apart from other institutions nationwide is that Fisk is the only minority serving institution ever to receive an R&D 100 Award, and Fisk has received four awards. Known as the “Oscars of Science,” each year for the past 55 years, the awards have identified the 100 most significant, newly introduced research and development advances in multiple scientific disciplines. Widely recognized in industry, government and academia as a mark of excellence for the most innovative ideas of the year, the R&D 100 Awards are the only industry-wide competition rewarding the practical applications of science. “The first three awards dealt with the development of a new generation of gamma radiation monitoring devices and the new technologies enabled by the discovery of new materials,” Fisk’s Dr. Arnold Burger said. “One U.S. company and several companies in the world are continuing the development and commercialization of this technology, primarily in the area of medical imaging, to better detect cancer tumors.” The university won those awards in 1998, 2001 and 2010.

The University’s LISe™: A High-Efficiency Thermal Neutron Detector garnered the fourth award in 2013. According to Burger, “the detector uses the growth and

optimization of lithium indium diselenide crystals. The old generation of detectors is based on helium-3, a rare isotope of helium.” The detector is based on a patent by Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Y-12, LLC and Fisk University, which Burger said resulted in Fisk (with Consolidated Nuclear Security and the University of Tennessee) being awarded another patent this year through work with the same technology. In recent years, the world is experiencing a severe shor tage of helium-3 as the demand for national security applications grows and exceeds the supply delivered by the nuclear weapon program. Research in the area of crystal growth at Fisk, a key element in radiation detection devices, has been ongoing for for 27 years. “We are extremely pleased for Fisk to obtain these recognitions. The new compact but highly sensitive device will keep our ports and major cities safe and secure. In addition, there are a myriad of applications that Dr. Arnold Burger, who leads the Fisk team, and their research partners are envisioning,” Fisk Vice President for Research Dr. Edwina Harris Hamby said. “The groundbreaking discovery of these neutron detectors is critically impor tant due to their applications in national security as well as in medicine, space, environmental science oil-logging and other scientific and industrial applications. It is quite exciting that these awards honor our research and researchers,” Hamby said. “We have a longstanding tradition in physics, and research in that discipline goes back more than 80 years when physics research was first introduced at Fisk.”

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SCIENCE

wisdom Marie M. Daly (April 16 1921 - October 28 2003) The first female African-American to earn a PhD in Chemistry, Daly searched for the causes of heart attacks. We owe our understanding of the relationship between cholesterol and clogged arteries, and how food and diet can influence heart health and the circulatory system.

ourage is like — it’s a habitus, a habit, a virtue: you get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging.

- MARIE M. DALY

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HOT

IN THE

LABS


HOT IN THE

labs

NATURAL SUPER COCKTAIL KILLS CANCER? BY TERRI SCHAB

U

Fortunately, for several years, Dr. Shubha Ireland, professor of biology at Xavier University, and her team of undergraduate researchers have been researching better ways to treat cancer. Most people with a BRCA1 mutation will get breast cancer and ovarian cancer and must undergo radical measures to kill the disease as their only option. The professor hopes that one day the surgical removal of breasts will not be necessary due to the Super Cocktail her lab has developed.

Dr. Ireland deep in discussion.

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nfortunately, many of us know a friend, a loved one or a celebrity, like Angela Jolie, who has had to undergo a mastectomy, heavy doses of chemotherapy or radiation – all in attempts to fight off breast cancer.

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In April, during the Association for Cancer Research convention, Dr. Ireland and her team revealed that their Super Cocktail, made of phytochemicals, can kill the BRCA1 mutated human breast cancer cells and prevent the growth of breast tumors. This new finding builds on previous research published in the 2013 Journal of Cancer that found the cocktail kills 100 percent of triple-negative breast cancer cells without any harmful effects to normal noncancer cells.

NATURAL AND NON-TOXIC In a press release, Dr. Ireland said, “Our Super Cocktail is a mixture of natural compounds from dietetic plants and herbs and is completely non-toxic to normal cells but exclusively kills cancer cells.”

IMAGES COURTESY OF XAVIER UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA

Dr. Shubha Ireland is on the verge of conquering cancer.


Xavier University has created a new all natural breast health supplement – a Super Cocktail – that can hopefully save women from having to have mastectomies.

The cocktail has the ability to target the cancer cells selectively. It is also influencing the cell death of cancer cells selectively. Studies in their lab have shown that the cocktail is also effective at treating prostate and lung cancer.

IMAGE COURTESY OF BETTYPHOTO

NO ADVERSE REACTIONS Ireland has ensured that the Super Cocktail is made from all natural compounds derived from herbs, fruits and vegetables. It is in concentrations that are easily tolerated by humans. For example, “If you put too many carrots in a concentration, a person could turn orangish,” she said. During Xavier University’s studies, more than 750 women with and without breast cancer used the Super Cocktail and had no adverse reactions or side effects. In addition, many were in remission and no longer needed chemotherapy or radiation therapy. The results of the study along with other data helped to develop the dietary supplement Breast SafeguardSusthana. The supplement, sold as Breast Guard, is available to women as a breast health support.The product is sold by Protegene Corporation, which was formed by Dr. Ireland’s research partner Dr. Shailaja Raj.

LESS CHEMOTHERAPY REQUIRED Dr. Ireland states that they are not guaranteeing that the supplement cures cancer. She wants cancer patients to discuss the supplement with an oncologist but hopes, if the product does what it is supposed to do, “the oncologist is not going to need as much chemotherapy and radiation.” Dr. Ireland feels good about the future of research and finding natural substances to treat diseases. “There is an amazing wealth of knowledge, medicinal and otherwise, in nature,” she said. Clinical trials are required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before the Super Cocktail can be marketed as a drug. Currently, Dr. Ireland and her team are studying the molecular/genetic mechanism that causes anti-cancer effects. They are conducting animal studies to confirm these effects in order to move towards the clinical trial stage.


Building upon the long research tradition of the HBCU community, HBCUs are making historic strides in the fight against deadly diseases.

IMAGE COURTESY OF FUSEBULB

3D Illustration of a T-cell


HOT IN THE

labs

COMBATING DEADLY DISEASES BY KARLA LANT

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n recent months, amazing strides against HIV/AIDS and cancer have been achieved at several different HBCUs.

Howard University has earned a coveted place among the Top American Research Universities and for good reason. In January 2017, Howard released news about current research that will open new avenues for treating HIV/AIDS.

Left: Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green Above: 3D illustration of sickle cells

NEW DISCOVERIES

IMAGE OF DR. GREEN COURTESY OF TUSKEEGEE UNIVERSITY, CELL IMAGE COURTESY OF KATERYNA KON

Blood disease researchers at Howard University Sickle Cell Center generated the new findings. The team found that sickle cell patients can have lower than average incidence of infection with the HIV-1 virus. The root of this difference occurs with the change in iron metabolism, which characterizes patients with sickle cell disease; this same trait is a protective factor against the HIV-1 virus. “Understanding mechanisms of natural barriers for HIV-1 infection, such as those that we described in sickle cell disease, open new therapeutic opportunities for treatment and may provide new approaches for the permanent cure of HIV-1 infection,” Study Lead and Sickle Cell Center Director Dr. Sergei Nekhai said.

UNIQUE RESEARCH REWARDED Tuskegee University researchers are taking on cancer in different ways with amazing success. By August 2016, Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green made cancer research history for what has been heralded as her one-of-akind cancer research involving lasers and nanoparticles. She also received a $1.1 million grant in support of her groundbreaking work. “I’m really hoping this can change the way we treat cancer in America,” Green told Al.com.“There are so many people who only get a three-month or six-month survival benefit from the drugs they take. Then, three or six months later they’re sent home with no hope, nothing else we can do. Those are the patients I want to try to save, the ones where regular medicine isn’t effective for them.” In March 2017,Tuskegee researchers won grant money in support of their cancer research exploring how the body’s natural immune system fights off viruses and

bacteria and employing those natural mechanisms against cancer cells. The team, who works in the Tuskegee University Center for Biomedical Research/ Center for Cancer Research, is studying the ways that small synthetic proteins might reduce inflammation by mimicking the activity of compounds produced naturally by the human body after a bacterial infection.

LEADERSHIP IN RESEARCH “For two years now, the center has had a ver y productive teaming agreement with Riptide bioscience. I’m hopeful that through this and other affiliations with leaders in the biotechnology industry, Tuskegee will maintain its position of leadership in immunesystem related strategies to combat cancer, which is one of the most promising areas in all of medicine right now,” Dr. Clayton Yates, professor of biology in the College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences, said. Clearly the research tradition within the HBCUs is thriving, producing new weaponry in the war against deadly diseases. This continuation of the historical dedication of the HBCUs to both community service and technical knowledge is lighting the way for future generations of researchers and improving life for people everywhere. HBCURESEARCH.COM

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HOT IN THE

labs

Researcher making underwater notes.

UNDERWATER RESEARCH MAKES WAVES BY APRIL KNIGHT

Sitting on jagged green hills on a small volcanic island, the university’s marine science center is sustained by a clear advantage: prime research grounds in a richly-varied marine environment.

UNDERWATER EXPERIMENTS “The benefits are huge,” CMES Director Dr. Paul Jobsis said. “It is so much easier to do in-water experiments. Brewers Bay is in our backyard, and it makes a great place to do your research.” Biological oceanographer Sennai Habtes backs this up. “Many of our master’s students even complete entire thesis projects entirely within the bay, which contains coral, seagrass and mangrove ecosystems,” he said. “The varied terrestrial and marine ecosystems surrounding the U.S.Virgin Islands are all within proximity to our students.” Marine scientist Scott Eanes, a recent graduate of the Master of Marine and Environmental Science (MMES) program at UVI swapped his lab coat for rash guards and peered not through a microscope – but through an oxygen mask.

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IMAGE COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS

The University of the Virgin Islands’ (UVI) Center for Marine and Environmental Studies (CMES) is conducting cutting edge research underwater.

F

or a small research center in a littleknown HBCU, CMES continues to lure hopeful marine scientists and veteran researchers alike. Surrounded by a fertile patch of sea, they produce top caliber research that can impact how we understand the world’s oceans.


TRACKING TURTLES In 2014, Eanes began an ambitious project to track the movement of sea turtles, specifically hawksbills. Along with a team of professors, colleagues and community volunteers, Eanes would hop on a small research boat and head out into the waters around Saint Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. There they would capture, tag, take DNA samples and monitor how sea turtles use the surrounding habitat. “Caribbean hawksbills are a keystone species, and they’re critically endangered,” Eanes said. “The next step is extinction in the wild. You can’t get any closer than this.” Eanes has tagged 108 specimens to date and is preparing to send off more than 100 genetic samples for mitochondrial DNA analysis.

APPLYING THE RESEARCH Marine research projects done through the center vary in focus and real-world applications. According to Jobsis, they have researchers working on fish spawning aggregations, marine protected areas, coral bleaching and disease, mesophotic reef ecology and oceanography. “The oppor tunity to just jump off the dock and explore many of the examples taught in lectures first hand, at any time of year, is an amazing motivator,” Habtes said. Deciphering the mysteries of the oceans cannot get any better than this.

Above: Hawksbill turtle. Below: A job in paradise.

DIVER IMAGE COURTESY OF ABD. HALIM HADI, TURTLE IMAGE COURTESY OF TROPICDREAMS

“The master’s program is structured so that during the first year of study, when our students take their core courses, two days out of the week are spent in formal class

settings,” Habtes said. “The rest of the time they are actively engaged in research activities associated with their thesis.”

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SCIENCE

wisdom

FDR GWC ON

“The versatility of his genius and his achievements in diverse branches of the arts and sciences were truly amazing. All mankind is the beneficiary of his discoveries in the field of agricultural chemistry. The things which he achieved in the face of early handicaps will for all time afford an inspiration of youth everywhere.” -FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT AFTER CARVER’S DEATH ON JANUARY 5, 1943

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IMAGE COURTESY OF TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES

George Washington Carver meets Franklin D. Roosevelt.


G COVER

story

EORGE WASHINGTON CARVER AND HIS

When George Washington Carver first arrived at Tuskegee Institute in the fall of 1896 to head the school’s new agricultural department, he had little means to practice science. There was no laboratory or equipment, only a classroom with two weathered oak tables, a wall of empty shelves and a side window so clouded with dirt that it dimmed the noon sun streaming onto the floor. Carver walked over to the window, took out a cloth handkerchief from his rumpled waistcoat and wiped the glass until he could see the sweeping grass and swaying pine tree branches that seemed to welcome him. He took a deep breath and smiled; he was looking at what he needed in order to change the world. A man of deep faith, Carver’s introspective look at his own life served as his motivation as a scientist.

OVERCOMING ADVERSITY

Born a slave and separated from his family as an infant, Carver overcame unspeakable odds early on. The adversity he faced as a young black man humbled him. He internalized every small victory, channeling all of his energy into making discoveries. Starting with virtually nothing at Tuskegee, he collected glasses, pots, pans, rubber bands, spoons and anything else he could find from trash cans to build a makeshift laboratory where he would set the stage for his life’s work over the next 40-plus years. 30

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ENDURING LEGACY BY MADELYN PENNINO

BORN INTO SLAVERY, GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER UNSHACKLED HIS MIND AND FREED HIMSELF TO SERVE HUMANITY, CREATING RIPPLE EFFECTS FOR CENTURIES.

Whether he was pouring dirt into clay plots from his soil-stained hands or digging in one of Tuskegee’s experimental gardens, his scientific applications yielded unprecedented results. He was always focused on how a potential discovery could impact the world. His discoveries inspired students, and just six months after his arrival at Tuskegee, his agriculture class had more than doubled.

A NATURAL BORN SCIENTIST

His resources grew and so did his reputation as a respected scientist. In 1897, he led the newly established Tuskegee Agricultural Experimental Station where he authored more than 40 agricultural bulletins. Some of the bulletins described a crop rotation system that taught farmers how to alternate nutrient-depleted soil with soil-enriching crops, including peanuts, soybeans and sweet potatoes.


ALL GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER IMAGES COURTESY OF TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES


No individual has any right to come into the world and go out of it without leaving something behind. – GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER

George Washington Carver experimenting in his laboratory.

1896

ARRIVES AT TUSKEGEE INSTITUTE

1897

LEADS TUSKEGEE AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION

1916

INDUCTED INTO THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTS IN ENGLAND


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 30

In one experiment, he increased the yield of sweet potatoes in a few years from 40 to 266 bushels. The practice of crop rotation diminished farmers’ reliance on cotton and tobacco as primary cash crops. It also changed the dynamic of farming in the South, still recovering from the ravages of the Civil War. It provided poor Southern farmers the education they needed to gain economic freedom, strengthening their lives and communities.

MUSEUM IMAGE COURTESY OF G. RUSS PHOTOGRAPHY AND GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER MUSEUM, CULTURAL & GENEALOGY CENTER ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTS IMAGE COURTESY OF ARTUK.ORG

MOBILE LEARNING

Carver created Tuskegee’s first moveable school, a horse-drawn vehicle called the Jesup Agricultural Wagon. The mobile school carried agricultural exhibits, materials and seeds to county fairs, community gatherings, conferences and to farmers so they could learn alternative crop planting techniques. Within a few months, the wagon was made part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s own outreach program. Carver discovered more than 300 uses for peanuts and was invited to speak at the United Peanut Association of America’s convention in 1920. His impressive speech led him to testify before Congress in support of a proposed peanut tariff.

Carver meets Franklin D. Roosevelt (top). Besides being a dedicated teacher, Carver also enjoyed painting (bottom).

BECOMING THE “PEANUT MAN”

In January 1921, Carver spoke before the House Ways and Means Committee, which was fascinated by the countless peanut byproducts he had created from plastic, paper, insecticides, gasoline and rubber to cosmetics and medicinal products. There they nicknamed him the “Peanut Man.” His discoveries have created countless economic opportunities here and abroad, garnering the respect of scientists, politicians and business and world leaders, including President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Henry Ford and Mahatma Gandhi.

He was inducted into the Royal Society of Arts in England in 1916. In 1923, he was awarded the prestigious Spingarn Medal by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

CAMPAIGNING FOR SCIENCE

Later in life, Carver continued to promote scientific causes. He wrote a syndicated newspaper column and traveled the country speaking about the importance of agricultural innovation as well as Tuskegee Institute’s

1921

SPEAKS BEFORE THE HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE

achievements as a research school and the possibilities for racial harmony in the U.S. His tireless commitment to making agricultural discoveries would lead to his ultimate sacrifice – forsaking a family and personal relationships. There was room for little else but his love of science, intensely and reverently linked to nature through what he described as “divine inspiration.”

Long after his death in 1943, Carver’s work remains a scientific blueprint for scientists and researchers around the world. His pursuit of discovery not only earned him iconic status as a revered scientist but also permanent distinction as a humanitarian and servant of humanity who unwittingly broke racial barriers.

1926

1948

THE GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER MUSEUM AND CULTURAL CENTER OPENS

RELEASE OF THE DR. GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER STAMP

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SCIENCE

wisdom Katherine Johnson (August 26 1918) An African-American physicist and mathematician who made contributions to the United States’ aeronautics and space programs with the early application of digital electronic computers at NASA, including the calculation of the trajectories, launch windows and emergency back-up return paths for the flights of John Glenn, Alan Shepard and the 1969 Apollo 11 flight to the moon.

e will always have STEM with us. Some things will drop out of the public eye and will go away, but there will always be science, engineering and technology. And there will always, always be mathematics. - KATHERINE JOHNSON

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IMAGE COURTESY OF JAGUAR PS

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WOMEN OF

SCIENCE


WOMEN OF

science

A MODEL SCIENTIST BY DR. NICKIE HARRIS-RAY

McCullough is a physical scientist at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

S

cientists are often thought of as awkward, Type-A personality nerds. Usually, people envision Bill Nye (the Science guy) and Dr. Emmett Brown (or Doc from Back to the Future) donning wild hair and blowing up potions in their labs.

On May 14, 2017 that image was shattered as beauty and brains were on display at the forefront of the Miss USA pageant. When Washington, D.C. native and physical scientist Kára Deidra McCullough was crowned Miss USA, the world took notice.

She attended South Carolina State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry with a concentration in radio chemistry. While in college, she was a member of the American Chemical Society, the Health Physics Society and the American Nuclear Society. McCullough has expressed that she plans to encourage women and girls to enter the STEM professions (science, technology, engineering and math) as part of her Miss USA platform. She currently runs a program called “Science Exploration for Kids,” which offers tutoring and events geared to students from the 6th to the 11th grade. “I go to the schools to do science projects, tutoring and presentations. I hope and pray these moments fuel them for their entire lives,” McCollough told reporters. How is that for the changing, beautiful face of science?

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IMAGE COURTESY OF NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

This year’s Miss USA pageant crowned scientist Kára Deidra McCullough, a woman with a beautiful brain intent on making a positive impact in the lives of children and STEM professions.

An HBCU graduate, McCullough is an emergency preparedness specialist in the Nuclear Regulator y Commission’s Office of Nuclear Security and Incident Response. Her position involves reviewing and regulating emergency plans for nuclear power plants.


IMAGE COURTESY OF MISS UNIVERSE

On May 14, 2017, Kรกra Deidra McCullough became the second consecutive African American to win the title of Miss USA.


Find Strength. Take Pride. At Bowie State University, the future is now. From using technology to avert real-world cyber threats, to analyzing plant DNA for medical applications in a new $102 million science center, students learn to shape their future by getting started today. We take pride in: ! Our award-winning faculty ! High-tech research labs ! A nurturing environment

170100-17G

See the future in STEM. bowiestate.edu/sciencecenter


WOMEN OF

science

PATRICIA BATH IMAGE COURTESY OF BLACKINVENTOR.COM, EYE IMAGE COURTESY OF ZYNATISZJAY

Scientist Dr. Patricia Bath bestows the gift of sight. A pioneer in her field, Dr. Bath overcame racism and sexism to become a great ophthalmologist, scientist and inventor.

P

BANISHING BLINDNESS BY TERRI SCHAB

atricia Bath M.D. believes that eyesight is a basic human right that every person should have regardless of race, gender or economic status. She has dedicated her life to this philosophy.

She is best known for her invention, the Laserphaco Probe, created in 1986. It increased the accuracy and results of cataract surgery, once done manually by a mechanical grinder. Her device uses an optical laser to insert a tiny incision in the eye, and then a laser vaporizes the cataract and the lens material. This is removed via suction tubes, and then a replacement lens is inserted onto the eye. For this work, Dr. Bath became the first African-American female doctor to receive a patent for a medical invention.

SERVING THE COMMUNITY Her achievements also include helping the disadvantaged get much needed eye care. The Howard University College of Medicine graduate proposed “community ophthalmology,” which combines aspects of public health, community medicine and clinical ophthalmology to offer primary care to underserved populations.

Her idea for community ophthalmology came after an internship at Harlem Hospital in the late 1960s and then a fellowship at Columbia University. Trained volunteers visit senior centers and daycare programs to test vision and screen for cataracts, glaucoma and other eye conditions – saving the sight of thousands in the process.

EYE CARE GOES GLOBAL Later, she and others formed the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness with the mission of providing primary eye care to people everywhere. She has traveled the world to help perform surgeries, teach medical techniques, donate equipment, lecture and meet with other health service providers. Since her retirement from UCLA Medical Center in 1993, she has been an advocate of telemedicine, which is the use of electronic communication to provide medical services to remote areas where healthcare is limited. Dr. Bath’s legacy lives on; we have her to thank for the modern day applications of Lasik surgery. HBCURESEARCH.COM

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CRACKING THE CODE [ PEANUT ALLERGY ] RESEARCHERS AT NORTH CAROLINA A&T AND FAYETTEVILLE

STATE UNIVERSITY HAVE BEEN UNRAVELING THE KNOTTY

PROBLEM OF PEANUT ALLERGENS, TACKLING MULTIPLE APPROACHES TO THE ISSUE.

BY KARLA LANT AND TERRI SCHAB

LABORATORY IMAGE COURTESY OF NC A&T, BOTANICAL ILLUSTRATION (OPPOSITE) COURTESY OF KÖHLER, F.E., MEDIZINAL PFLANZEN, VOL. 3: T. 42

Peer inside a lunchroom in one of America’s schools on any given day, and one can observe a child happily munching on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The botanist George Washington Carver would be very proud to see how the humble peanut has become a huge American staple. Carver’s research helped to make the peanut popular by demonstrating crop rotation to farmers, which showed them how they could replenish their soil by planting peanuts as well as inventing hundreds of other uses for the legume. Today, HBCU researchers have tweaked the peanut’s proteins to bring them one step closer to being better – and allergen-free.

MILLIONS AFFECTED The ability to eat peanuts or peanut-based products might not seem significant, but cracking the peanut allergy code has wide-ranging implications. Sadly, not everyone can enjoy the peanuts safely. Some individuals are extremely sensitive to its proteins. The peanut allergy is among the most common causes of food-related anaphylaxis and affects about 2.8 million Americans, including four to six percent of children. To begin her research, food and nutrition researcher Dr. Jianmae Yu partnered with the NC A&T School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences and the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Receiving a grant for peanut allergy research in 2014, they found a way to reduce the allergens in whole, broken or ground peanuts by 98 to 100 percent.

THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM Proteins trigger peanut allergies, and some proteins are more powerful than others. Yu’s research focused on reducing the allergenic proteins by pretreating skinless, shelled peanuts with a food-grade, protein-breaking

enzyme called alcalase. The naturally-occurring enzyme breaks down proteins and targets two major allergens: Ara h1 and Ara h2. The process, which takes place post-harvest, neither changes the peanut’s shape nor causes lipid oxidation, a process that can negatively affect food quality and cut into the shelf life of a product. “Peanuts are increasingly used in food products, which make it difficult for the allergic individuals to avoid accidental exposure. Therefore, it is very important for us to find a way to make peanuts less or non-allergenic,” Yu told the FDA. To explore potential marketing and development avenues, NC A&T entered into an agreement with Alrgn Bio to create hypoallergenic peanut products.

Dr. Jianmei Yu has been working to reduce the allergens found in peanuts.

OTHER BREAKTHROUGHS NC A&T has always been a trailblazer in agricultural research. The case of the peanut allergen is a great example of this proud research tradition. Another breakthrough in cracking the peanut allergy code came for Dr. Leonard Williams and his team who won a $500,000 grant from the HBCURESEARCH.COM

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Get Published! The Journal of HBCU Emerging Research  is a print, peer-reviewed academic journal dedicated to research performed by Historically Black Colleges & Universities.

WILLIAMS-CHURCHILL UNIVERSITY P R E S S

Learn More: williamschurchill.com | 202 795 2110 info@williamschurchill.com | editorial@hbcuresearch.com


We are extremely pleased to be able to explore a new approach to what is for many people a dangerous and even life-threatening issue. – DR. JIANMEI YU

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 41

USDA. Dr. Williams, NC A&T interim director and professor of food safety and microbiology within the Center for Excellence in Post Harvest Technologies, and his team study immunotherapy. The team combines peanut-skin flour with chemicals from other foods and plants to characterize their bioactivity. “A&T is continuing to build its capacity in peanut allergen research, and we are extremely pleased to be able to explore a new approach to what is for many people a dangerous and even life-threatening issue,” Dr. Williams said.

SUCCESS AND SETBACKS In addition to NC A&T’s peanut allergy research, Dr. Hortense Dodo, a former Alabama A&M professor, is working with biogeneticists at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina on isolating the allergens.

LABORATORY IMAGE COURTESY OF NC A&T, PEANUT IMAGE COURTESY OF EWAIS

Now the president and chief executive of IngateyGen, she received a $225,000 small business innovation research grant from the federal government and a $50,000 small business grant from the North Carolina Department of Commerce. Her team strives to understand how to alter protein expression and ultimately neutralize the allergic potential while maintaining the proteins’ essential functions. So far, Dr. Dodo and her team have been able to isolate 17 known allergens from the peanut and successfully removed the dangerous allergens from the genome. However, the consequences produced a less delicious peanut and negatively affected the plants’ ability to fight off fungi as well as the seeds’ ability to store energy. Despite that setback, the biogeneticists are continuing to research the genetic editing of the peanut by studying the entire set of proteins produced by the genetic code, which is the science of proteomics.

Dr. Jianmei Yu working with her laboratory partner.

The team envisions their research extending to wheat, dairy and other food allergens. They hope the peanut may hold secrets that could be just the beginning of improving the lives of millions. HBCURESEARCH.COM

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SCIENCE

wisdom George Washington Carver (1860s - January 5, 1943) Carver’s reputation is based on his promotion of alternative crops to cotton, such as peanuts and sweet potatoes. He encouraged farmers to grow alternative crops and practice crop rotation. In 1941, Time magazine dubbed Carver the “Black Leonardo”.

ince new developments are the products of a creative mind, we must therefore stimulate and encourage that type of mind in every way possible.

- GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER

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IMAGE COURTESY OF TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES

S


SPECIAL SECTION


Are you looking for diverse talent? Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) has access to a highly qualified and diverse talent pool of more than 500,000 Historically Black College and University (HBCU) students. Our talent sourcing services recruit and place candidates to meet employer needs in areas ranging from internships to full-time positions. TMCF is dedicated to connecting our students to top employers, and utilizing our talent sourcing services will jumpstart a student’s career – and benefit the employer.


HOWARD HEADS

WEST

BY MADELYN PENNINO

I M A GE S C O U R T ESY O F H O W AR D U N I VE R S IT Y

In a collaboration between Howard University and Google, students are participating in a 12-week residency program geared towards learning coding and other essential skills.

Students get first-class lessons in software engineering while enjoying the lifestyle benefits that come from studying on Google’s campus.

Howard University’s (HU) star computer science majors have packed their bags and headed west to sunny California. Not exactly summer vacation, but for 30 HU junior and seniors, it’s pretty close. For the next three months, they will call Howard West, a new state-of-the-art center on Google’s campus in Mountain View, CA, home. Howard West is a partnership between Howard University and Google and is an effort to attract more minority software engineers to Silicon Valley. Google is also attempting to diversify its own workforce and address its critical shortage of AfricanAmerican employees in technical positions. “Howard West will produce hundreds of industry-ready black computer science graduates, future leaders with the power to

transform the global technology space into a stronger, more accurate reflection of the world around us,” Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, president of Howard University, said in a statement. While earning credit toward graduation, students participating in the 12-week residency program will not only learn coding from some of the best technology minds in the world but will also experience the unique tech culture in Silicon Valley. In five years, Howard estimates that roughly 740 students will go through the residency program, which includes a generous stipend for housing and living expenses. The program will expand over time and eventually open enrollment to undergraduate computer science students from other HBCUs.

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Looking to fill the minority gap in the STEM fields, electrical engineer Kimberley Bryant formed non-profit Black Girls Code, which provides coding workshops and camps to school-aged girls.

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BLACK GIRLS

CODE BY TERRI SCHAB

More than six years and five thousand girls later, Black Girls Code has been able to teach computer coding skills to girls between the ages of 7 and 17. With corporate giants like Google, Oracle, AT&T and Comcast, to name a few, the program has a promising future.

IMAGES COURTESY OF DIANE CHRISTINA, DIANECPHOTO.COM

Coding computers is about making the instructions or rules that a computer can understand to power everyday objects like phones, watches, microwaves and cars. Bryant, a Vanderbilt University graduate, formed the non-profit after seeing the minority gap in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). She remembers going to college feeling a sense of isolation in her engineering classes because she was one of about two or three students of color. Working at several biotech companies after college, she noticed the unfilled gap of African Americans in the field. On the Black Girls Code website, Bryant said she hopes the non-profit will “provide young and pre-teen girls of color opportunities to learn in-demand skills in technology and computer programming at a time when they are naturally thinking about what they want to be when they grow up.� According to the 2016 U.S. Census Bureau data, white men account for 34 percent of the U.S. workforce and occupy 49 percent of the jobs in computer and mathematics occupations. Only 2.8 percent of those jobs are occupied by black women although the group makes up more than six percent of the workforce. Silicon Valley, Microsoft, Apple and others are also recognizing the benefit of Black Girls Code and how it will positively provide them with a diverse and educated workforce.

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CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE

Originally formed in San Francisco, Black Girls Code has chapters in Atlanta; Chicago; Detroit; Memphis; New York; Raleigh-Durham; Washington, D.C.; Dallas; Miami; and an international office in Johannesburg, South Africa. With this success, Bryant is considering forming Black Boys Code to fill that gap as well. In 2013, the White House listed her as a “Champion of Change for Tech Inclusion,” and she was heralded in the “25 Most Influential African Americans in Technology” list by Business Insider. Coding is fast becoming an essential skill for those wishing to remain relevant in the future. Bryant hopes that “these coders will become builders of technological innovation and of their own futures.” For more information, go to blackgirlscode.com.

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Girls learning to code, an essential skill for the future of work.


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INSPIRED by the principles of a man that changed the world with over 300 inventions and scientific discoveries, this special section will focus on the students behind the innovation and research at HBCUs and MSIs – their work, their research, and their stories.


When Lonnie Johnson begins tinkering, exciting things happen. His very popular squirt gun, the Super Soaker, has rewarded his curiosity and made him a fortune, now allowing him the freedom to experiment with renewable energy.

revenue

WATER IMAGE COURTESY OF LUKAS GOJDA, LONNIE JOHNSON SKETCH COURTESY OF ALABAMA STATE ARCHIVES HALL OF FAME PROGRAM

RESEARCH TO


WHEN TINKERING TURNS

SUPER

B Y LUCAS MUNSON

SUPER SOAKER PATENT IMAGE COURTESY OF DANIEL HAGERMAN

Growing up in Alabama, Johnson was interested in science from an early age. One of his first achievements was receiving first prize at a 1967 science fair for building a scrap metal robot. His studies continued at Tuskegee University where he earned a mechanical engineering degree in 1973 and a master’s degree in nuclear engineering in 1975. He worked for the Air Force, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and NASA. In 1982, he was tinkering with a new creation – attempting to make an environmentally-friendly cooling pump using water instead of Freon. Johnson hooked a custom nozzle to his bathroom sink, and when he turned it on, a jet of water shot across the room. He saw its potential to be used as a squirt gun, and the Super Soaker was born.

INVENTING FUN The first prototype of the Super Soaker was made from Plexiglas with an air pressure chamber and water reservoir. Johnson gave it to his daughter and her friends to try out, and they loved it, convincing him of its viability as

a toy. In 1990, water gun maker Larami Toys released Johnson’s invention, calling it the “Power Drencher.” Unfortunately, because of poor advertising, it did not sell well.

REVENUE STREAMS IN In 1991, its marketing improved, and the gun’s name was changed to “Super Soaker.” Sales soared to about two million guns, grossing millions in revenue and making HBCU graduate and inventor Lonnie Johnson famous. The Hasbro Corporation bought Larami, and new models of Super Soakers with different levels of water capacity and power have been released. On any given summer day in the 1990s, kids and parents across the country were racing around the front yard dousing each other with the popular toy squirt gun. Chris Reid, who has the largest collection of Super Soakers in the world, reminisces: “I have great memories from my childhood when I think about my collection, but I also have great

memories about the present because they do continue to make new Super Soakers every year.”

TINKERING TODAY Johnson continues to work on new projects and innovations. He holds more than 80 patents for his inventions and has around 20 more pending. Never satisfied to rest on his laurels, he has used his personal wealth to start two research and development companies, focusing on sustainable technologies, which have created advances in engine and battery technology that are adding to the growing clean energy revolution. Johnson calls the transition to renewable energy “one of the greatest challenges facing humanity.” His experimenting and insatiable curiosity could be the key to overcoming that challenge. Johnson believes in giving back; in 2016, he donated $100,000 to his alma mater Tuskegee University. The funds go towards its engineering labs and facility-related upgrades. He is leaving behind a legacy that continues to support the next generation of tinkerers.

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A MAN OF MANY FIRSTS Dr. Elmo Brady led a gifted life that enabled him to teach and research chemistry at several HBCU institutions.

BY NICOLE EGGEBRAATEN

St. Elmo Brady was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but his story starts when he went to Fisk University at 20 years old. While there, Thomas Talley, a talented chemistry professor and black folk music archivist, encouraged him to study science, particularly chemistry. Dr. Brady taught at Tuskegee Institute following his graduation from Fisk, and both Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver mentored him during his time in Alabama. His work at Tuskegee did not go unnoticed, and he was granted a scholarship to attend the University of Illinois just four years after arriving. In 1914, Dr. Brady finished his Masters of Science in Chemistry at Illinois and became the first African-American admitted to Phi Lambda Upsilon, the national chemistry honor society. The following year he completed another

first – this time as the first African-American inducted into the honor society Sigma Xi. To become an all-around academic pioneer, St. Elmo Brady received his doctorate in chemistry in 1916, becoming the first African-American man to accomplish this in the U.S.. After receiving his degrees, Dr. Brady published three abstracts focused on his work to the Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry - “The Hydrochloride Method for the Determination of Alkaloids”. Additionally, he created three monographs focused on household chemistry for girls. He continued to make his mark by teaching and developing curricula for three more universities: Howard, where he was the chemistry department chair; Fisk University; and, after retiring from a 40-year stint at Fisk University, Tougaloo College.

1 0 0 0 1 7 T H AV E N U E N. | NAS H V I L L E , T N 3 7 2 0 8 | 6 1 5 . 3 2 9 . 8 5 0 0

| W W W. F I S K . E DU


From oral history to the printed page.

We’re telling our own story. TEN MEN Examining the Passion and Progress of Black Men on Charlotte’s Historic West Side

Colin Pinkney, Community Organizer is One of the TEN.

Damian Johnson, Barber Shop Owner is One of the TEN.

Coming Fall 2017. Available at Amazon.

Justin Harlow, Dentist is One of the TEN.

Charles Jones, Freedom Rider, is One of the TEN.

Darrel Williams, Architect is One of the TEN.

150 years

of

undeniable progress

1867 - 2017

Sketches by Jerry McJunkins

Capturing tomorrow’s history, today. 150 years

of

undeniable progress

1867 - 2017

704 -3 78 -1 00 0 | 100 B E AT T I E S F O R D R OA D | C H A R L O T T E , N C 28216 | S M I T H I N S T I T U T E . J C S U . E D U


STORED IN REPOSITORIES, ARCHIVES AND VAULTS OF INSTITUTIONS, THERE IS

TREMENDOUS HISTORY FROM THE HBCU COMMUNITY THAT ILLUMINATES THE

PAST. FUTURE GENERATIONS CAN LEARN ABOUT THE GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF ANCESTORS WHO HAVE COME BEFORE THEM.

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IMAGES COURTESY OF FISK UNIVERSITY, TUSKEGEE

History

UNIVERSITY AND HOWARD UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES

KEEPERS OF OUR


END OF AN BY JUSTIN STOKES

era

FISK UNIVERSITY LIBRARIAN DR. JESSIE CARNEY SMITH RETIRES AFTER SPENDING MORE THAN 50 YEARS CREATING A CUTTING-EDGE LIBRARY THAT PROTECTS AND MAINTAINS AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORICAL ARCHIVES AND COLLECTIONS. Stored safely in Fisk University’s archive collection is a black and white picture of legendary scientist and alum Elmer Samuel Imes sitting in his laboratory. Imes, a 1903 Fisk alumnus and physics faculty member, provided scientific work that provided early verification of quantum theory. Historical pictures, audio and materials are part of the many archives meticulously chronicled and protected by Dean of the Library Dr. Jessie Carney Smith.

SAFEGUARDING HISTORY

IMAGES COURTESY OF FISK UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES

Dr. Smith is what one might call a gatekeeper of history. Due to her efforts over the last five years, students and the community can find information for research at the Fisk Library. She plans to retire soon but feels good about all she has accomplished. “My first major assignment was to plan a new library building,” says Dr. Smith about arriving at Fisk in 1965. “Fisk needed a building that would respond to current trends in library facilities and would serve the needs of the university. This was a challenging project but one that ended with very promising results.” She explains that her job has been more than managing the building or books; rather, it has been about curating a cutting-edge learning space. She decided to create a facility that allowed for special collections and archives, faculty studies, mobile shelves and provisions for automation to ensure Fisk continued to stay at the forefront of research.

Dr. Smith applied for grants and financial support to fund special training for the library staff and a variety of research projects. She wanted to keep historic photos in Fisk’s possession as well as reformat library materials to ensure that they were accessible to all. Receiving her doctorate from the University of Illinois in 1964, she is the first African American to earn a PhD in library science. While completing a fellowship from the former Council on Library Resources, Dr. Smith studied libraries in black colleges. In 1977, she published Black Academic Libraries and Research Collections, a historical survey which has been used widely in determining funding support for college libraries.

AWARD WINNING LIBRARIAN

She is among the leading authorities on research regarding African-American history. She has written several books, including the book Black Firsts: 4,000 Ground-Breaking and Pioneering Historic Events. She received the Martin Luther King Black Authors Award in 1982 and the National Women’s Book Association Award in 1992. She has also lectured worldwide. The Fisk Board of Trustees awarded Dr. Smith the Librarian Emeritia award for her achievements at the school’s library. While she will be physically leaving Fisk, her contributions will forever remain, providing generations with archives where they can learn about African-American history.


PRESERVING THE BY MADELYN PENNINO AND LUCAS MUNSON

past

WORDS TELL THE STORY OF HISTORY, BUT IMAGES C APTURE ITS MOST PROFOUND MOMENTS. THE HBCU PHOTOGRAPHIC PRESERVATION PROJECT HELPS PROTECT IRREPLACEABLE AFRIC AN-AMERIC AN HERITAGE. Anyone wanting to find inspiration need look no further than Tuskegee University’s Archives. There one can listen to George Washington Carver giving a commencement address at Selma University in 1942 or to a historic radio interview that the scientist and inventor once gave. Tuskegee’s past can also be told through an array of black and white photographs. These diverse collections capture a wide variety of images from Reconstruction through the Civil Rights Movement and not only document the evolution of HBCUs but also portray the economic and social challenges of African Americans.

Rhue said the project has taught students soft skills in photo preservation and has encouraged them to consider preservation-related careers as well giving them an intimate glimpse into their school’s past. “It’s been a wonderful teaching tool as well as a learning tool,” Rhue said.

PARTNERSHIPS PROTECTING HISTORY

These precious audio archives and photographs have been carefully stored and protected as part of the HBCU Photographic Preservation Project. The threephase project began in 2007 through a $1.2 million grant provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and ended last year. More than a dozen HBCUs, including Tuskegee University, participated in round one and two of the project from 2007 to 2013. Each of the HBCU participants received grant money used for the repair, restoration and rehousing of materials, stabilizing at-risk collections and preservation training for staff and students. Five HBCU participants returned for the third round, which ran from 2014 to 2016, and expanded to include audiovisual collections as well as photographs. Other project participants include the HBCU Library Alliance, LYRASIS, the Art Conservation Department at the University of Delaware, the Conservation Center for Art History and Historic Artifacts and the Image Permanence Group. Sandra Phoenix, executive director of the HBCU Library Alliance in Atlanta, said the collections are relevant in retaining HBCUs distinctive culture and are an important tool in preserving the AfricanAmerican experience as well as securing its proper interpretation in American history. “It’s up to us to preserve and protect these stories,” Phoenix said. “The collections are hidden treasures,” Monika Rhue, director of library services at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, said. “We must roll these treasures into our history, schools and communities to tell the stories that have not been told.” 60

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IMAGES COURTESY OF TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES

ALLIANCE LEADS THE WAY


CHRONICLING

invention

IMAGES COURTESY OF FISK UNIVERSITY, TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY AND HOWARD UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES

BY HEATHER FOUST

W I T H O U T H E N RY E . B A K E R , S O M E O F H I S TO RY ’ S M O S T SIGNIFIC ANT BLACK INVENTORS MAY NEVER HAVE BECOME KNOWN TO THE WORLD. Henry E. Baker was a patent examiner for the U.S. Patent Office in the early 1900s. During Baker’s career in Washington D.C., he realized that the office lacked information about black inventors. Wanting to ensure black citizens were recognized, he began sending letters to newspaper editors, patent attorneys and company presidents, asking them to list any African-American inventors they knew.

CAPTURING HISTORY

He made it his mission to chronicle black inventors as evidenced in his book, published in 1913, The Colored Inventor – A Record of Fifty Years. The book catalogues 800 patents and more than 100 African-American inventors. It tells the powerful story of progress made in the sciences of mechanics,

chemical compounds, surgical instruments, electrical utilities and the fine arts.

UNVEILING INNOVATION

His information helped to provide the selected inventors who were showcased at national and international exhibitions. The Negro Exhibit in the 1900 Paris Exposition included inventors, artists, educators and religious leaders who displayed drawings, photographs and artifacts highlighting the progress of African Americans in society. Black inventions were also displayed at the Pennsylvania Emancipation Exposition of 1913, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Because of the tireless efforts of Henry E. Baker, today it is easy to find notable black inventors and the many significant contributions they have given us.


SCIENCE

wisdom Dr. Larry Robinson and his team.

esearch allows our students, faculty and staff to expand knowledge beyond current boundaries and translate what is learned in classrooms into outcomes that enhance our quality of life and understanding of the universe. -DR. LARRY ROBINSON, INTERIM PRESIDENT FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY

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IMAGE COURTESY OF FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY

R


@

THE

CO-LAB


@ THE

co-lab

The Department of Veteran Affairs HBCU Scientist Research Training Program was established to expand the base of HBCU minority scientists doing research related to veteran health care and has been making great inroads towards meeting their goal.

MAKING STRIDES ATTRACTING MINORITIES TO SCIENCE BY MADELYN PENNINO

The core of the program consists of funding awarded to exemplary early career HBCU minority scientists. These young scientists par tner with their local VA medical centers and engage in breakthrough healthcare research targeted at veterans. Since its inception, six recipients have been awarded sizable research grants to continue their work, which includes the development of new cancer treatments, muscular system and joint therapies and geriatric-based research. 64

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Dr. Patricia Dorn, VA Director of Rehabilitation Research and Development, said the program was created to attract more minority scientists to research careers related to veteran health care. “The award winners are building the foundation for the program’s future and will serve as role models for future minority scientists interested in exploring the unique healthcare challenges veterans face.They are the first wave,” Dr. Dorn said, “They are the ambassadors that will help this grow.” As part of the application process, candidates are required to describe case studies and proposed clinical trials related to their research and detail how veterans could benefit from potential outcomes. A panel consisting of peer reviewers, subject matter and academic experts evaluate applications submitted by candidates twice a year. “There has been a lot of bridge building,” Dorn said. “HBCUs have been extremely receptive in building relationships with the VA to promote and spread awareness about the program.”

IMAGE COURTESY OF SERGEY NIVENS

S

erving the healthcare needs of veterans is an ongoing dialogue that now includes some of the most brilliant scientific minds in the HBCU community. As part of an initiative focused on bringing minority scientists to the front line of research, the Department of Veteran Affairs HBCU Scientist Research Training Program was established to expand the base of HBCU minority scientists doing research related to veteran health care.


@ THE

co-lab

WORKING WITH GOVERNMENT THE DoD MENTOR-PROTÉGÉ PROGRAM BY NICHOLAS HARLAND

There are several programs available to HBCUs that can assist them in finding the mentorship they require to succeed. The Department of Defense (DoD) Mentor-Protégé Program is one. MENTOR-PROTÉGÉ PROGRAM The DoD Mentor-Protégé Program (M-P), created by congress in 1991, offers incentives to major defense contractors to assist small disadvantaged businesses (SDB) with developmental support.The purpose is to allow SDB to increase their participation in federal procurement contracts. The goal of the program is to increase the small business supplier base of the Department of Defense (DoD). Each of the participating DoD agencies require meaningful participation by Historically Black Colleges and Universities and/or Minority Institutions (HBCU/MIs). DoD agencies’ program coordination is provided by their respective Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Office (SADBU).

THE DoD M-P PROGRAM GOALS: Seek and develop SDB subcontractors for increased overall participation of SDBs in DoD subcontracting.

IMAGE COURTESY OF JORGE SALCEDO

Foster long-term business relationships between DoD contractors and SDBs. Provide incentives to DoD contractors. Develop a more robust Defense Supply System. Increase institutional capacity as HBCU/MI.

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@ THE

co-lab

UNCF A CRITICAL PARTNER FOR HBCUs BY DR. NICKIE HARRIS-RAY

H

BCU sustainability is an ongoing conversation in our country.

One of the reasons that HBCUs are surviving is because of the unwavering support of establishments like the UNCF. Founded in 1944, UNCF gives its member HBCUs financial and other support so they can grow academic programs and build their institutions while keeping tuition down.

IMAGE COURTESY OF PIXELHEADPHOTO

UNCF is effective because the organization advocates throughout the nation for the importance of a college education and preparedness.

For decades, the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) has helped sustain Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Many celebrities lend their efforts to UNCF to help with fundraising and awareness. Through his Tom Joyner Foundation, Joyner raises money from events such as the Fantastic Voyage Cruise. Possibly the most recognizable event is the yearly Lou Raul’s Parade of Stars, a telethon raising millions of dollars for the organization. The history of HBCUs proves that when adversity strikes, challenges are overcome and excellence prevails. With partners such as UNCF, HBCUs will continue to survive and flourish. Anyone interested in contributing to the UNCF mission can find information at uncf.org/get-involved.

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IMAGES COURTESY OF (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT) INOZEMTSEV KONSTANTIN, CELIO MESSIAS SILVA, GENIUSKSY, MR. & MRS. MARCH

Nanotechnology promises to deliver remarkable returns in a number of industries.


RESEARCH 360

NANOTECH REAPS BIG

REWARDS BY TERRI SCHAB AND AMANDA LARRISON

THE RESEARCH OF GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER SOWED THE SEEDS THAT FUTURE GENERATIONS ARE NOW BEGINNING TO HARVEST. DR. TITO HUBER IS UTILIZING NANOTECHNOLOGY RESEARCH, BEGUN BY CARVER, TO BUILD NANOWIRES THAT CAN BE USED FOR A VARIETY OF PRACTICAL PURPOSES. Carver and Ford blending ideas

Laboratory, funded by Boeing, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Army, NASA and others. These funds are used to conduct nanotechnology research. Nanotechnology looks at a substance’s essential properties when they are shrunk down to a nanoscale size – one-billionth of a meter – much smaller than the eye can see. When Henry Ford first met George Washington Carver at the 1937 Chemurgical Dearborn Conference, little did the world know that the wheels were set in motion for a revolution of gigantic proportions utilizing the smallest of structures.

IMAGE COURTESY OF TUSKEEGEE UNIVERSITY

A PRODUCTIVE PARTNERSHIP The collaboration of these two innovative giants led to the development of technologies such as ethanol and other grain fuels, cellulose plastics and high strength composites of plant resins and natural fibers, like hemp. Ford used these in his automobiles and manufacturing and assembly processes. Standing on their shoulders, Dr. Tito Huber of Howard University is utilizing nanotechnology to conserve and magnify energy. Dr. Huber heads Howard University’s Nanostructures

WORKING AT THE QUANTUM LEVEL When substances are this small, their essential properties can be seen and manipulated to take advantage of their special properties. Dr. Huber is researching how to use the chemistry of molecular electron transport at the quantum level. He is investigating the thermo-conductivity of nanowires for uses in aerospace and other industries. A nanowire, a slender and long rod-like structure that can be in the form of metals, semiconductors, insulators and organic compounds, is usually made from semiconducting materials such as carbon, silicon or bismuth. Nanowires can conserve and magnify energy storage and conduction. Dr. Huber is focusing on bismuth nanowires for their thermoelectric potential.

The application of bismuth nanowires in the computer field to create nano-size transistors for faster computing is potentially massive. They are also being looked at for generators and solar devices. Their thermoelectric properties may increase the efficiency of solar cells to convert sunlight to electricity by collecting, storing and transferring energy, reducing their production costs.

NEW ENERGY SOLUTIONS “Climate change is a major challenge facing us,” said Dr. Huber. “Nanotechnology will allow humanity to develop materials for sustainable energy harvesting, including solar energy.” Research rewards those who follow in the footsteps of giants. Little did Carver and Ford know that the work they collaborated on in the 1930s and 1940s sowed the seeds that Dr. Huber is now reaping with his nanotechnology research. In turn, he is laying the groundwork for energy enhancement that does not rely on fossil fuels. Nanotechnology is being hailed as the root crop for a multitude of new technologies and products that could transform the world’s traditional energy paradigm. HBCURESEARCH.COM

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HAMPTON UNIVERSITY

Excelling in STEM Areas Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute— World’s Largest Free Standing Proton Cancer Treatment Center NanoHU—Founded in 2012 under funding from the National Science Foundation with the goal to conduct progressive research in Nanoscience

and only HBCU to have 100% control of a NASA mission and Hampton has four satellite/satellite instruments currently in orbit HU professor and Co-director of Center for Atmospheric Science Dr. M. Patrick McCormick inducted into NACA and NASA Langley Hall of Honor


STEM

worthy

REACHING THE STARS BY MADELYN PENNINO

T

Alpha Centauri A and B

he idea that people will be able to travel to another star in the next 100 years is far out – about 25 trillion miles far out. However, space pioneers like astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison believe we may be closer to voyaging outside the solar system than most think.

Dr. Jemison is the founder and chairman of the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence and has been a professor-at-large at Cornell University and a professor of environmental studies at Dartmouth College. As an entrepreneur, Dr. Jemison heads several of her own science and technology-related companies. Launched in 2011, she started the 100 Year Starship (100YSS), a nonprofit organization focused on pinpointing research and developing technology that will give humans the capability to travel to another solar system before 2112. The 100YSS is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

IMAGES COURTESY OF (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT) NASA, INNERCIRCLECORONA.COM, POP.H-CDN.CO

Dr. Jemison, a physician, scientist and STEM educator, said the organization’s primary purpose isn’t necessarily to launch a mission to the stars in the next 100 years but act as a tool to make sure the capabilities exist for others. One way the 100YSS is moving toward human travel outside our solar system is through the Way Institute, a collaborative research and development arm of the 100YSS. The Way focuses on exploring the “bleeding edge” – physical, life and social sciences, engineering and technologies, economics, art, culture and systems capabilities – needed for missions beyond our solar system. It also pushes for radical leaps forward in technological advancement wherever possible.

Dr. Mae Jemison, the first woman of color to travel into space, has great ambitions to send a spaceship to another solar system.

The 100YSS website uses Alpha Centauri – the closest star to Earth – as an example of a first potential human destination. Exactly how far is it? It’s a mind boggling 25.2 trillion miles, equal to 52,880,000 million round trips from the earth to the moon. “Failure to recognize possibilities is the most dangerous and common mistake one can make,” Dr. Jemison said. It sounds like science fiction, but Dr. Jemison said this kind of human space travel is possible with the right scientific minds, financial resources and a unified desire to recognize and seize opportunity.

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SOCIAL SIDE OF

research

THE GLOBAL MARCH FOR

SCIENCE BY SIM RISSO

S c ienc e:

XX

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ILLUSTRATION COURTESY OF ROB ZS

S er v in g Th e Common Good


Image courtesy of Joseph Gruber.

THE MARCH FOR SCIENCE EVENTS THIS SPRING DISPLAYED THE CLEAR MESSAGE THAT SCIENCE MATTERS AND EVIDENCE-BASED RESEARCH DESERVES MORE GOVERNMENT FUNDING. In April, hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world gathered in more than 600 cities at March for Science events. The events were an effort to show global solidarity and that scientific research and innovation is vital. The marches were a very visual display of resistance to proposed federal science budget cuts. Crowds of people from children, teens, parents and everyone in between came with signs that read “The Oceans Are Rising, and So Are We!” and “Science: Serving the Common Good”. “It’s about the impor tance of science in society and continuing the support for the science community in keeping our edge,” ‘March for Science’ honorary co-chair Lydia Villa-Komaroff, told CNN. In Washington D.C., some 40,000 rallied, and speeches were made by Denis Hayes, who co-founded Ear th Day in 1970, and scientist and TV host Bill Nye. The April 22 marches were held to coincide with Ear th Day celebrations. The movement was “pretty unprecedented in terms of the scale and breadth of the scientific community that’s involved,” Robert Proctor, a professor of the history of science at Stanford University, told the Washington Post. HBCURESEARCH.COM

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SOCIAL SIDE OF

research

People share their support of science around the world.

Scientists believe the proposed cuts could have a huge affect on research and science policy, leading to a decrease in future scientific innovation. Luckily, cuts feared by many science advocates turned out to be less than expected.The National Institutes of Health (NIH) were originally slated to have their budget cut by $1 billion under the president’s proposal, but the House of Representatives and Senate approved a $2 billion increase in the NIH budget for the fiscal year of 2017. Additionally, NASA received a 1.9 percent increase in funding, which includes a 3.1 percent increase for NASA’s Office of Science. In another science agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) received a one percent cut.The agency’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), which conducts research on climate change, is seeing a 3.5 percent increase, while the NOAA’s Sea Grant Program that funds college research across the country had its budget decreased by half a million dollars. The March for Science events were a clarion call for those wishing to champion scientific research and innovation. They send a loud signal to the world that more people believe in science than ever before. 74

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IMAGES COURTESY OF (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT) JOSEPH GRUBER, ANOTHER BELIEVER, MICHAEL GERLOFF, TRACEY CARLOS

CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE


IMAGE COURTESY OF PUFFIN’S PICTURES


SCIENCE

wisdom Sarah Breedlove (December 23, 1867 – May 25, 1919) Known as Madam C. J. Walker, Breedlove was an African-American chemical scientist, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and a political and social activist. Considered the first female self-made millionaire in America, she became one of the wealthiest African-American women in the country and one of the most successful African-American business owners.

D

on’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them. IMAGE COURTESY OF BIOGRAPHY.COM

- SARAH BREEDLOVE (MADAME C.J. WALKER)

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NEXT

GENERATION

SCIENTIST


NEXT GENERATION

scientist

ASTRONAUT IN TRAINING BY NICHOLAS HARLAND

J

essica Watkins always wanted to be an astronaut and worked hard to achieve her goal. This year she attained success by being selected to join in NASA’s 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class.

In August, the candidates will convene at the Johnson Space Center in Houston to begin two years of training. They could then be assigned to a variety of missions: performing research on the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft or deep space missions on NASA’s new Orion spacecraft, possibly headed for Mars.

Excited about diversity, Watkins remarks that “it says a lot about NASA and their goals toward creating a diverse workforce. I like the idea of being able to be a face to others who might not see people who look like them in STEM fields in general – and doing cool things like going to space.”

MENTORSHIP MATTERS She is passionate about encouraging young girls to venture into the world of STEM. She said “I’ve been really grateful and lucky to have the mentorship support that I’ve received from a lot of my teachers, professors and supervisors.” She recommends that girls find female STEM mentors for assistance along the way. “That is something that has really pushed me to this point in my life,” she said. 78

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ASTRONAUT IMAGES COURTESY OF NASA, MARS IMAGE COURTESY OF VADIM SADOVSKI

SPACE PIONEERS Watkins is well on her way to becoming the sixth AfricanAmerican woman to go into space, joining the ranks of industry pioneers like Yvonne Darlene Cagle, Mae Jemison, Joan E. Higginbotham, Stephanie D. Wilson and Jeanette J. Epps.


Selected from a pool of 18,300 applicants, Jessica Watkins has been chosen by NASA for the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class.


The Philander Smith College WISE-P3 initiative is designed to place women and underrepresented minorities in high skill, high demand occupations through partnerships with key businesses and industries.

WORKFORCE INNOVATION AND STRATIGIC ECONOMIC P U B L I C P R I VAT E PA RT N E R S H I P S

CURRENT & EMERGING PROGRAM INITIATIVES:

ECOTOXICOLOGY CERTIFICATION PROGRAM

• Arkansa Coding Academy (ACA): a “boot camp” that creates a pipeline of talent for IT and IT-related industries, including cyber security.

The only program of this kind in the state of Arkansas!

• IT Registered Apprenticeship: 18-month apprenticeship with Metova Solutions, a provider of military grader cyber security technologies. • Cyber Security Initiative: Training program allowing participants to earn a Certificate of Proficiency or B.S. Degree. • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Camp: a year-round, hands-on weekend experience for precollegiate students with focus on STEM subjects.

PHILANDER

FORWARD philander.edu 900 W. Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive Little Rock, Arkansas 72202

The Ecotoxicology Certification provides students with the basic skills and training necessary to secure base-level jobs as lab technicians within companies that conduct, or are involved in, environmental or ecotoxicological studies, tasks or projects. Lecture and Lab-Based Program Features: • Extensive hands-on field work • Applicable lab bench work • Biostatics training For more information or to register, contact Mr. Glenn Sergeant at gsergeant@philander.edu or 501.375.9845.


NEXT GENERATION

scientist

IMAGE COURTESY OF MOREHOUSE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

For her research into new cancer technologies, Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green earns the prestigious Veteran Affairs (VA) HBCU Career Development Award.

F

ONE TO WATCH BY MADELYN PENNINO

or Dr. Green, home is the laboratory; it’s where she’s spent years developing a breakthrough laser cancer treatment that could possibly revolutionize cancer therapies.

Her unprecedented research is turning heads in the medical and academic communities as well as in government sectors, including the Department of Veteran Affairs. Last year, Dr. Green, a medical physicist and assistant professor at Morehouse School of Medicine, earned the prestigious VA HBCU Career Development Award for her research into new cancer technology.

GROWING MINORITY SCIENTISTS The award is the centerpiece of the VA HBCU Research Scientist Training Program, an initiative aimed at increasing the number of minority scientists who participate in veteran healthcare research.

“I’m honored, and it’s not an honor I take lightly,” Dr. Green, who is one of fewer than 100 African-American female physicists in the U.S., said. “I’m excited to be part of the transforming research landscape that will highlight the work of minority scientists and bring it to the forefront of VA research.”

LESS INVASIVE THERAPY The VA awarded Dr. Green, who at the time was teaching at Tuskegee University, a $1.1 million federal grant. The focus of the work was a patent pending, 3-in-1-platform technology to target, image and treat cancer utilizing laser-activated and tumor-targeted nanoparticles. It is a treatment that is more localized and less invasive than conventional cancer therapies. As part of her ongoing research at Morehouse, Dr. Green will compare the laser treatment that she has developed to standard cancer treatments that use chemotherapy and radiation.

CONNECTION TO CANCER Finding cutting-edge cancer therapies is not only a professional goal for Dr. Green; it’s personal. Both Dr. Green’s aunt and uncle, who raised her, died of cancer. She’s experienced how difficult the treatment process is and its devastating side effects first-hand. “I saw the horrors of cancer and the horrors of cancer care,” Dr. Green said. “I have a vendetta against cancer.” Dr. Green said she is proud to be part of a program committed to bringing more minority scientists into the VA research community. “We are underrepresented,” Dr. Green said. “This program legitimizes our work and interweaves it into the fabric of the VA.”

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• D I S PA R I T I E S H E A LT H • H E A LT H W O M E N ’ S •

Meharry Medical College owes a debt of gratitude to Dr. Harold D. West.

B E H AV I O R A L

N E U R O S C I E N C E

Every researcher at

Harold D. West, Ph.D. (1904-1974), was Meharry’s own—an administrator, innovator, educator and mentor.

Dr. West’s pride, however, was in his role as a researcher. As a biochemist, he was the first to synthesize the α-amino acid threonine—a building block for proteins in the body, currently suspected both as a participant in the neurodegenerative progress in Alzheimer’s disease and as a treatment for nerve disorders like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis and muscle spasms.

The spirit of Dr. West lives on in the

A N D

science taking place in the Harold D.

M O L E C U L A R

West Basic Sciences Center, and his legacy of research continues in the many groundbreaking research efforts

C A N C E R

H I V / A I D S

at Meharry Medical College today.

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HBCU RESEARCH

INAUGURAL ISSUE We are proud to present this collection of fascinating stories from the research communities at HBCUs. We hope that they offer a glimpse into the incredible work that is being done, and that they inspire you to share them far and wide. Our intention is to honor the past, reflecting on those who have come before, as well as looking to the future by praising current researchers and the talented young individuals who are rising through the ranks.


NO INDIVIDUAL HAS ANY RIGHT TO COME INTO THE WORLD AND GO OUT OF IT WITHOUT LEAVING SOMETHING BEHIND. – GEORGE WASHINGTON C ARVER

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HBCU Research Inaugural Issue  
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