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UC Merced Lands $8.2 Million in Awards and Grants for First Half of Current Fiscal Year

February 3, 2009

MERCED, CA— Faculty researchers at the
University of California, Merced, have obtained $8.2 million in
research grants and awards during the first half of the 2008-09
fiscal year.

The funds, received between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2008, represent
54 different projects. Federal, state and private funding brought
in to the university is typically used to hire student research
assistants, purchase supplies, equip laboratories, fund travel, pay
salaries and conduct day-to-day research activities.

The $8.2 million is on par with the amount of funds received
during the first six months of the 2007-08 fiscal year. Last year’s
full-year total was $16.3 million.

“Research is an integral component of education and we are
pleased that UC Merced continues to maintain consistent and strong
research funding at this point of the fiscal year,” said Samuel
Traina, vice chancellor for research and dean of graduate studies.
“Our faculty continues to conduct innovative, multidisciplinary
research that benefits California and the world.”

UC Merced faculty members conduct research on a wide range of
scientific issues, many of which have direct relevance to the San
Joaquin Valley and the State of California. Because many goods and
services are purchased locally, the Valley community benefits
directly from the inflow of cash as well as from the ideas and
discoveries resulting from the actual research.

Among the awards in the most recent six-month period are:

  • $1.7 million from the California Institute for Regenerative
    Medicine to conduct research on using stem cells for cardiac tissue repair;
  • $656,000 from the National Science Foundation to acquire a
    laser and detection system that allows researchers to perform a
    wide variety of optical and opto-electronic experiments;
  • $150,000 from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to
    create usable technology for quantum computing;
  • $100,000 from the National Science Foundation to build computer
    models that can automatically extract useful information from
    extremely complex data;
  • $755,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy to examine how
    climate changes affect plant species;
  • $476,000 from the National Science Foundation to purchase
    robotics equipment;
  • $407,000 from the National Institutes of Health to study the
    biochemistry of HIV
  • $529,000 from the National Science Foundation to study how
    cholesterol interacts in cell membranes; and
  • $369,000 and $145,000 from a collaborative grant with UC
    Berkeley that examines the affects of forest service land
    management on water cycles in the Sierra Nevada.

“We are very proud of the accomplishments of our faculty and
staff,” said Keith Alley, executive vice chancellor and provost.
“One manifestation of this is the continued growth in the research
grants and contracts they bring to the campus. These dollars allow
our researchers to perform cutting-edge research, but they also
impact the economic base of the local community.”

More Information

UC Merced
Research Institutes and Cooperative Core Laboratories