Researchers at Wake Forest University, East Carolina, N.C. A&T and UNC-Wilmington will receive more than $700,000 in research grants from the

The grants are for work in projects ranging from breast cancer to raising truffles.

The grant program offers awards up to $75,000 and is designed to foster early stage work that could lead to additional funding.

Wake Forest researchers received $372,221 for five grants. ECU researchers received $175,375 for three grants. NCA&T, UNC-Wilmington and UNC Greensboro received one each.

The awards, as described by the Biotech Center:

  • $25,415 to Colin Burns, Ph.D., of East Carolina University in Greenville, to develop anti-HIV agents.
  • $75,000 to Garry Dawson, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, to study nanoparticle-enhanced separations for biomarker detection.
  • $75,000 to William Gmeiner, Ph.D., of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, to develop multivalent aptamer complexes from triplex DNA scaffolds.
  • $75,000 to Ashok Hegde, Ph.D., of WFU, to develop an Alzheimer’s disease treatment.
  • $75,000 to Omoanghe Isikhuemhen, Ph.D., of North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University in Greensboro, to use biotechnology methods for the mass propogation, inoculation and screening of truffle-inoculated seedlings.
  • $75,000 to W. Todd Lowther, Ph.D., of WFU, to develop cancer therapies from fatty acid synthase inhibitors.
  • $75,000 to Jed Macosko, Ph.D., of WFU, to develop a nanoscale “Lab-On-Bead” that can process encoded chemical libraries.
  • $72,221 to Michael Robbins, Ph.D., of WFU, to develop a rat model to study radiation-induced brain injury in children.
  • $74,960 to George Sigounas, Ph.D., of ECU, to investigate screening tools to detect DNA damage in normal and cancerous human breast tissue.
  • $75,000 to Mary Thomassen, Ph.D., of ECU, to explore carbon nanotubes as a tool for generating an experimental model of pulmonary sarcoidosis.
  • $75,000 to Sridhar Varadarajan, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina Wilmington, to develop a breast cancer therapy.

This grant program, which is designed in part to foster more research outside of the Triangle, is not open to UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. State or Duke, according to the Biotech Center.

The program was launched in 2006 and thus far has awarded almost $1.6 million to researchers.