SC State researcher awarded $320,000 National Science Foundation Grant

Monday, October 01, 2007

Dr. Rahina Mahtab, an associate professor at SC State University, and her research team have recently been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant of over $320,000, co-funded by the S.C. Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research & Institutional Development Awards (EPSCoR/IDeA).ORANGEBURG – Dr. Rahina Mahtab, an associate professor at SC State University, and her research team have recently been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant of over $320,000, co-funded by the S.C. Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research & Institutional Development Awards (EPSCoR/IDeA).

The team’s research will center around the use of gold nanoparticles in biomedical applications. Gold nanoparticles are brightly colored, making them easy to locate and monitor, and have the ability to adhere to many different types of molecules. The team will utilize the attributes of gold nanoparticles to investigate the possibility of adhesion to other molecules that are known to separate large groups of proteins, a potential cause of Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Mahtab will involve many minority women in her research, promoting the hands-on approach to training in the use of modern spectroscopic equipment. According to Dr. Catherine Murphy, a University of South Carolina professor and a collaborator in this research, “The team of professors on this project are all women, and we are all very interested in keeping women scientists in the professional pipeline by mentoring them at an early stage.”

Drs. Mahtab and Murphy have worked together on past research projects, receiving a seed grant as part of the SC EPSCoR/IDeA Collaborative Research Program.

The focus on education and the high level of research will benefit students at SC State University, the state’s largest historically black institution. The collaboration will also promote a stronger relationship between SC State and USC, providing additional opportunities for the population of minority women interested in scientific careers and graduate school.