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National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, November 13, 2007

NCRR Communications

NIH Funds 10 Science Education Partnership Awards
More than $9 million dollars will be used to engage students and the public in health sciences

Promoting science careers in rural and underserved populations; using interactive museum exhibits to explain the genetic factors of health; and disseminating an HIV/AIDS documentary by inner-city high school students are just some of the new ways the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is increasing the public's understanding of biomedical research.

Today, NIH announced it has provided over $9 million to fund 10 Science Education Partnership Awards (SEPA). Led by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) — a part of the NIH — SEPA grants provide two to five years of support to stimulate curiosity and encourage scientific investigation through hands-on activities. By supporting interactions between scientists, educators, and community organizations, the SEPA program helps improve public understanding of NIH-funded medical research and encourages the participation of young people in science careers.

"These collaborations exemplify the goals of the SEPA program — inquiry-based learning, innovative teaching techniques, and community participation," said NCRR Director Barbara M. Alving, M.D. "Using peer mentoring, hands-on science experiences, and innovative web-based instruction thousands of students, teachers, and members of the public will gain a greater understanding of biomedical research."

This round of 10 new awards brings the SEPA portfolio to 62 active grants and continues to encourage the next generation of health professionals while increasing the public's understanding of health issues.

Science Education Partnership Awards were presented to:

Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland (Oakland, Calif.)
Health and Biomedical Science for a Diverse Community

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.)
Nationwide Dissemination of Inside Cancer, a SEPA-Funded Internet Site for Teachers

Diversity Films, Inc.(Stamford, Conn.)
Serial Passage: AIDS, Race, and Culture

Miami University Oxford (Oxford, Ohio)
HealthRICH: Health Risks, Information, and Choices

Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
A Starfish Can Grow a New Arm, Why Can't I?

San Francisco State University (San Francisco, Calif.)
Spectrum: Building Pathways to Biomedical Research Careers for Girls and Women of Color

Texas A&M University System (College Station, Texas)
Science Promotion in Rural Middle Schools

University of Nebraska Lincoln (Lincoln, Neb.)
World of Viruses

Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tenn.)
School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt

Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (Silver Spring, Md.)
$ 1,338,078
Going to Middle and Early High School Classes with Near-Peer Mentors

Full description of projects is available at http://www.ncrr.nih.gov/sepa_awards/20071113.asp. For more information about SEPA, visit http://www.ncrrsepa.org/.

The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) provides laboratory scientists and clinical researchers with the environments and tools they need to understand, detect, treat, and prevent a wide range of diseases. With this support, scientists make biomedical discoveries, translate these findings to animal-based studies, and then apply them to patient-oriented research. Ultimately, these advances result in cures and treatments for both common and rare diseases. NCRR also connects researchers with one another, and with patients and communities across the nation. These connections bring together innovative research teams and the power of shared resources, multiplying the opportunities to improve human health. For more information, visit www.ncrr.nih.gov.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

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