Defense Department Funds HBCU Centers of Excellence in Biotechnology and Materials Science

The Office of Research and Engineering of the U.S. Department of Defense is funding the establishment of Centers of Excellence in Biotechnology and Materials Science on the campuses of two historically Black universities. After considering proposals from many institutions, the Army Research Laboratory chose to fund centers at North Carolina A&T State Univerity in Greensboro and Morgan State University in Baltimore.

North Carolina A&T State University and collaborative partner, the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine, will lead research to develop technology for detection and monitoring of chemical and biological threat agents using an integrated micro-engineered organ equivalent system. The proposed system will be used to characterize the effect of various pharmacological and toxicological agents — including threat agents relevant to national defense.

Morgan State University will partner with Johns Hopkins University to explore the technological potential of an emergent class of two-dimensional (2D) materials for use by the Defense Department. The projects will target properties of 2D materials for specific areas of technology including wearable photovoltaics and thermally-managed photo-sensors as well as hybrid photovoltaics thermoelectric technologies for use by individual warfighters.

“The Department continues to forge partnerships with academia to stimulate research and innovation leading to the development of critical technologies required to meet our warfighter needs” said Dr. Jagadeesh Pamulapati, acting deputy director for Research, Technology, and Laboratories. “Biotechnology and materials science remains a priority across the Department to achieve new operational capabilities ranging from strengthening chemical-biological defense systems to impacting warfighter performance. We are excited for the range of activities the Centers will conduct in their technical areas and look forward to the foremost research contributions to the defense research enterprise.”


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