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October 31, 2011

SDSU awarded $145 million

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Written by: Kevin Smead

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Antonio Zaragoza, Photo Editor

Antonio Zaragoza, Photo Editor

During the last academic year, San Diego State was awarded $145.2 million in contracts and research grants. This figure is comparable to the amount of grant money received the previous academic year, which totaled $151 million.

In a statement issued, SDSU president, Dr. Elliot Hirshman, noted the importance of SDSU’s small research programs, saying it is “affecting lives in San Diego, throughout California, and around the world.”

The money for the grants came from a variety of sources and is being put to use in a number of different fields.

The National Science Foundation issued SDSU a total of 51 grants for a sum of $8,952,230. Part of this money funds the work of SDSU biology professor Forest Rohwer. Rohwer and his team are working to stop the destruction of the world’s coral reefs caused by climate change and overfishing, which he says are almost 30 percent destroyed with an additional 50 percent of the reefs in danger. Rohwer is also looking at viral sequences in stressed coral, which come in the form of an ancient herpes-like virus.

Another major source of funding came from the National Institutes of Health, which gave $32.2 million. The NIH is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is the major medical research agency for the nation. The NIH is comprised of 27 different institutes and centers, all focusing on different research areas.

Associated to SDSU is the National Heart, Lung and BloodInstitute, as well as the National Cancer Institute. The funding from these institutions will go to specific projects such as Mark Sussman’s studies on heart failure and myocardial cellular survival, and Elva Arredondo’s work addressing the high rates of cancer and other chronic diseases in the Latino population by promoting physical activity.

Additionally, the Small Business Administration provided $599,978 to the “Advanced Defense Technologies Cluster,” which helps develop new equipment for the U.S. military. San Diego is one of three regions to receive this award. The contract is locally focused, as the work is done in conjunction with businesses in San Diego.

The ADTC encompasses a number of different fields, with as focus in areas such as cyber security, communications and renewable energy. The overall goal of the program is to help small businesses based in San Diego expand into the worldwide defense marketplace.

Since 2005, SDSU has been ranked as the No. 1 small-research university in the nation according to the Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index.

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