Friday, July 11, 2008

Grant Funding for FAMU Mosquito Research Center

Just as the gas prices keep rising, grant funding to support educational programs for students majoring in agricultural sciences and engineering technology continues to increase significantly in the Florida A&M University College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture (CESTA).

John Smith, director and professor at the FAMU John A. Mulrennan, Sr. Public Health Entomology Research and Education Center (PHEREC) in Panama City, reports that the center has received funding totaling $139,908 for research projects and educational programs related to entomology and mosquito control. Such funding provides excellent opportunities to engage FAMU students and faculty in meaningful research and outreach initiatives as an 1890 land-grant institution of higher learning. The following grants have been awarded funding during June, 2008.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service (FDACS) funded three out of seven grant projects initiated by PHEREC scientists for a total of $98,908. The grants are as follows:

·“Discovery of New Mosquitocidal Bacteria Producing Toxins Different from Bti and Bs.” FDACS awarded $31,126 for research aimed at discovering new mosquitocidal bacteria that could reduce the reliance on chemical insecticides for mosquito. Hyun Woo Park is the principal investigator.

·“Adulticide New Product Comparisons for Mosquito Adultcides” was funded for $42,903. Jane Barber is the principal investigator of this study aimed at comparing the toxicity of insecticides used to control adult mosquitoes. Findings from the study will help mosquito control programs in selecting effective insecticides.

·“Efficacy of 25(b) Commercial Products in Automatic Misting Systems for the Control of Adult Mosquitoes” was funded for $24,879. James Cilek is the principal investigator. This study evaluates the efficacy of botanical oils as possible non-toxic alternatives for conventional chemical insecticides.

The National Science Foundation, through the Entomological Society of America, funded a grant titled, “Group Travel Proposal – International Congress of Entomology 2008,” for $40,000. Jack Peterson is the principal investigator. The grant provides funding for students to compete for travel funds to attend and present papers at the International Congress of Entomology meeting, which will be held in Durban, South Africa.

“The College is proud of the continued contributions of the center faculty and staff,” said Makola Abdullah, dean and director of Land-Grants Programs in the FAMU College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture. “The Mulrennan Public Health Entomology Research and Education Center continues to fulfill an important need for the state of Florida.”

Abdullah indicated that the PHEREC funding increased the level of support for CESTA through external funding sources to more than $2 million for the months of May and June.

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