Skip to main content

Biotech Center Grants A Berry Good Thing

In 1994 Malcolm Campbell, Ph.D., got a $45,000 Educational Enhancement Grant from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center to develop a molecular biology program at Davidson College.

He’s put that grant, and two more for Davidson worth about $65,000, to good use. Campbell, director of the college’s Genome Consortium for Active Teaching, is leading seven of his students into a new understanding of the blueberry and the way its genetic components might contribute to human health.

Campbell’s Genome Consortium program is an international network of fellow undergraduate faculty committed to expanding genomics research into their classrooms.

Last year Campbell got a call from Allan Brown, Ph.D., assistant professor at North Carolina State University’s Plants for Human Health Institute at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, where Brown heads a program to sequence the blueberry genome. Brown invited Campbell to bring the newly genetically savvy students into the project to study the characteristics of blueberry genes.

The result is getting its first public display this week, when the students present their initial findings to their peers and professors.

North Carolina institutions can submit preproposals for the current round of Educational Enhancement Grants until noon on May 4. The grants are capped at a maximum of $100,000.