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Morgan State University’s ASCEND Center for Biomedical Research Awards $300,000 in Grants for Six Faculty Pilot Research Projects

Morgan State University’s ASCEND Center for Biomedical Research has awarded six university faculty members with a total of $300,000 in grant awards ($50,000 each) for pilot research. The grants, which are awarded annually pending a review process, are made available to tenured or tenure-track faculty members at Morgan conducting a health-related research pilot project. This year’s grantees and research projects include:

  • Dr. Gerald Rameau(Biology), Activity-Dependent Glucose Transporter 3 Trafficking in Neurons
  • Dr. Pumtiwitt McCarthy(Chemistry), Optimizing a Fluorescent Assay for a Neisseria Meningitidis Capsule Polymerase
  • Dr. Terra Bowen-Reid(Psychology), Advancing Cancer Education (A.C.E.) among Young African American Women
  • Dr. Kimberly Warren(Psychology), Stress and Obesity in an African American Female College Population
  • Dr. Kesha Baptiste-Roberts(Public Health), Minority Stress and Health Behaviors among Sexual Minority Women
  • Dr. Anne Marie O’Keefe(Public Health), Using Social Marketing Research to Help Low-SES Minority Smokers Quit

Over the next three years, ASCEND is offering up to three more rounds of pilot project grant awards of up to $50,000 each for faculty to jump-start or revitalize their health-related research. Proposals submitted to ASCEND are reviewed according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-defined criteria by researchers from outside of the University. In April 2015, ASCEND received 25 applications for pilot research grants. Of these, six were submitted to NIH for further review and approval.

The ASCEND Center for Biomedical Research was created through a $23.3 million five-year (2014-2019) award from the National Institutes of Health. ASCEND (A Student-Centered, Entrepreneurship Development training model) aims to strengthen Morgan’s biomedical and research infrastructure by training undergraduate students to become outstanding biomedical researchers and providing faculty with support to develop or revitalize their own health research programs.

To learn more about the ASCEND Pilot Research Grants forthcoming second round please visit:


Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified Doctoral Research Institution offering more than 70 academic programs leading to bachelor’s degrees as well as programs at the master’s and doctoral levels. As Maryland’s Public Urban Research University, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. More information about the university is available at

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Clint Coleman or Larry Jones
(443) 885-3022

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