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Growing Georgia's Bioscience Industries:  Harnessing the Resources of Higher Education

Research Areas by Department/Institute/Center

Because so much bioscience research is underway at colleges and universities, it’s sometimes difficult identifying where all of it is happening. Listed below are major areas of bioscience research across the surveyed campuses – aggregated by key department, institute, or center – and whom to contact for information.

Agnes Scott College

Agnes Scott College’s programs in the biological sciences encompass three major/minor programs: biology, biochemistry and molecular biology, and environmental studies. Our emphasis is on increasing the representation of women in the scientific work force. Much of our focus is on undergraduate participation in research, either in collaboration with College faculty or through directed projects with researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory University School of Medicine, Zoo Atlanta, and other institutions. Our new 115,000-square-foot, $37 million science building has dedicated research spaces for each faculty and her or his student collaborators. Research by faculty encompasses molecular biology, developmental biology, genetics, microbiology, plant biology, evolutionary biology, and neurobiology.

Brenau University

Focus on the biosciences at Brenau University centers primarily on research conducted in the Department of Occupational Therapy. In addition, NIH funding is being used by faculty in the Department of Biology to develop a research laboratory to support faculty and student research in nursing, occupational therapy, environmental science, and environmental health.

Clark Atlanta University

Clark Atlanta University’s specific focus areas related to the biosciences include molecular biology, biochemistry, and separation science. Research in these areas focuses on signal transduction, cancer mechanism, apoptosis and oncogenes, toxicology and enzymology, immunology (e.g., phage display of antibodies and peptides), gene expression, nucleic acid sequencing, enanatioselective analysis and separation, protein purification and characterization, fluorescence-based biosensors, and molecular modeling.

Clayton State University

Clayton College & State University offers a unique Bachelor’s degree in biology, with concentrations in bioregulatory affairs/science management, biomedical applications, biotechnology/biocomputing, forensic science, and pre-veterinary medicine. Our program was developed by surveying top executives and laboratory personnel at Georgia biomedical companies, and identifying what they are seeking in employees. An industry Board of Advisors continues to help mold the program to suit the evolving needs of the Georgia biotechnology community.

Columbia Theological Seminary

Columbia Theological Seminary, a graduate educational institution of the Presbyterian Church (USA), and a community of theological inquiry and formation for ministry in the service of the ecumenical church, encourages exploration of the relationship between theology and ethics and contemporary social problems and issues. Such exploration may include ethical considerations related to biomedical research and development.

Emory University

Emory University is one of the fastest-growing research universities in the nation. During the past five years, sponsored research funding at Emory has increased by 77 percent. Emory’s research growth in the health sciences is reflected most strongly in expanding programs in cancer, the neurosciences, transplantation medicine, vaccines, genetics, medical imaging, tissue engineering, biomedical engineering, and bioinformatics. Major new research facilities include the Whitehead Biomedical Research Building, which houses expanded basic science laboratories as well as a new interdisciplinary center for neurodegenerative diseases and a center for medical genomics; the Emory Vaccine Center, adjacent to the Yerkes National Primate Research Center; Emerson Hall, which includes biomolecular chemistry and high-field nuclear magnetic resonance laboratories; and the new 325,000-square-foot Winship Cancer Institute Building, with space for new faculty and expanded basic cancer research laboratories, including cancer genomics. Emory’s strong partnerships with the Georgia Research Alliance, the Georgia Cancer Coalition, other Georgia research universities, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide numerous opportunities for research funding and collaboration. Emory leads the Southeastern Center for Emerging Biologic Threats (SECEBT), a research and public health partnership of regional academic medical centers, state health departments, and federal government agencies. The joint Emory/Georgia Tech Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Georgia Tech/Emory Center for the Engineering of Living Tissues are advancing research in biotechnology, genomics, tissue engineering, nanotechnology, and biomedical devices.

Georgia Institute of Technology

Recognizing the traditional strengths in engineering and science of the Georgia Institute of Technology, “Georgia Tech” has launched bioengineering and bioscience programs to integrate engineering, information technology, and the sciences in the conduct of biomedical research and education. Partnerships between participating academic units are facilitated and integrated to foster synergistic collaborative research in biomedical engineering, biology, chemistry and biochemistry, chemical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, industrial engineering, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering, as well as other academic units at Georgia Tech. Active areas of research include: new imaging techniques for diagnosing illnesses; creating biological substitutes for tissues and organs (tissue engineering); blood flow dynamics; cellular and soft tissue biomechanics; medical devices, parts, and products; drug design and delivery; bacterial and eucaryotic molecular genetics; signal transduction for animal and plant cells; synthesis and modification of small molecules, e.g. for use as enzyme inhibitors, anti-cancer and anti-AIDS compounds and neuropeptide analogs; and vascular disease. The expansion of knowledge in bioengineering and the biosciences is key to enhancing health care and the development of new medical and industrial technology, and Georgia Tech plans to be a major contributor to this expansion.

Georgia State University

Georgia State University has an active research program in the biosciences and biotechnology. The Biology Department is one of the largest and most successful units at the University. The Chemistry Department, because of its focus on the biophysical nature of DNA and its interaction with other molecules, also plays a significant role in bioscience research. The Psychology, Mathematics and Statistics, and Computer Information Systems Departments have significant activity in the neurobiology and behavior area. In addition to the extensive focuses in the Biology and Chemistry Departments, there are peripheral programs in several other colleges that are integrally linked to biosciences research in the College of Arts and Sciences. In the College of Health Sciences, there is activity in a number of bioscience fields in the Departments of Nutrition, Cardiopulmonary Care, Nursing, and Physical Therapy. In the College of Education there are strong components which focus on both bioscience education and kinesiology and health with several centers that are particularly relevant: biomechanics and ergonomics, Center for Applied Physiology, Center for Sports Medicine and Sciences, and the Laboratory for Elite Athlete Performance. The School of Policy Studies places a major emphasis on environmental policy issues. Several research centers have widespread interactions with industry focused on biotechnology.

Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University has, as its primary mission in the area of the biosciences, the education of undergraduates to be productive members of the work force and to enter into advanced degree programs. We offer students the broadest possible training in the biosciences through Bachelor of Science degree programs in biology, biotechnology, chemistry, and biochemistry that include a broad array of courses and research experiences with KSU faculty, with local and state agencies, as well as internships/co-ops with private industry and consulting firms. Through aggressive curricular programming and judicious use of state funds and private donations, we are able to provide our students with hands-on lab experiences using state-of-the-art equipment that is unparalleled for undergraduate programs, even at major research universities.

Mercer University

Mercer provides a biomedical specialization within an accredited Bachelor of Science degree in engineering and a Master of Science in engineering degree. Mercer’s Southern School of Pharmacy has several faculty members working in the biosciences or related areas. Their specific research spans the range from drug effects on cellular systems to development of improved therapies and pharmaceutical delivery systems. Mercer’s College of Liberal Arts has several programs leading to Bachelor of Science degrees, including biology, chemistry, environmental science, and the interdisciplinary concentration in biochemistry and molecular biology. Currently, faculty members engaged in biosciences research can be found in the Departments of Biology and Chemistry and the Environmental Science program.

Morehouse College

The major areas of bioscience research at Morehouse College are based on faculty expertise and include molecular biology (plasmid replication), biotechnology (genetic engineering of potatoes), animal behavior (mate selection), environmental biology (bioremediation), plant sciences (fungus-plant interaction), and cell biology (cell adhesion, prostate cancer).

Morehouse School of Medicine

The Morehouse School of Medicine is a historically black institution established to recruit and train minority and other students as physicians and biomedical scientists committed to the primary health care needs of the underserved. Although the School is a relatively young institution, the outcomes of our research activities have resulted in the establishment of major research centers, institutes, and programs which include the Cardiovascular Research Institute, Clinical Research Center, Neuroscience Institute, Space Medicine and Life Sciences Research Center, Prevention Research Center, National Center for Primary Care, Research Center in Minority Institutions, Minority Biomedical Research Support Program, Cooperative Reproductive Science Research Center, and Center of Excellence in Health Disparities. In order to maximize the effectiveness of our resources and build upon our institutional strengths, our long-term plan is to develop these multidisciplinary institutes with biomedical and bio-behavioral basic and clinician scientists into germinating centers for collaborative, innovative research that remains closely linked with both basic and clinical departments. The vast research capacity offered by these facilities provides a wealth of resources to industry in Atlanta and throughout Georgia. Core and shared-use facilities and major instrument laboratories are available to Morehouse School of Medicine and other researchers on a fee-for-service basis. Examples include: molecular genetics, functional genomics, SELDI proteomics, image analysis, electron microscopy, Center for Laboratory Animal Research, and Biomedical Technology Services Laboratory. Scientific imaging and graphics preparation service is provided by the Division of Information Technology.

Oglethorpe University

Oglethorpe University is dedicated to a broad, comprehensive education in the liberal arts and sciences. The biology major has one of the largest enrollments of all programs in the traditional day program offered by the University.

Southern Polytechnic State University

Southern Polytechnic State University offers a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, with concentrations in biochemistry, molecular biology and bioinformatics.

Spelman College

Spelman College currently has faculty with bioscience research expertise in the following areas: developmental biology, physiology, neurobiology, biochemistry, molecular genetics, environmental biology, biochemistry, and neuroscience.

University of Georgia

The University of Georgia is one of the state’s premier institutions for comprehensive education, research, and outreach at the university level. In addition to departments of genetics, botany, cellular biology, microbiology, chemistry, biochemistry, and molecular biology in the College of Arts and Sciences, the University has significant life science activity in the College of Veterinary Medicine, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the School of Forest Resources, the College of Pharmacy, and in its many interdisciplinary research centers and institutes. UGA recently created the Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute to coalesce biomedical and human health research programs throughout the campus. In partnership with the Georgia Research Alliance, the UGA BioBusiness Center also has been established to assist start-up companies interested in collaborations based on UGA expertise and resources in the fields of biomedical and agricultural biotechnology.

University of West Georgia

The mission of the State University of West Georgia and of the Department of Biology, primarily is education, but research is an important tool for student learning in the sciences. Accordingly, we are pleased to have a number of faculty members who are actively engaged in biosciences research and who are known nationally and internationally for their contributions to the field.

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