Grants or Gifts Relating to Women in Higher Education

Here is this week’s news of grants and gifts that may be of particular interest to women in higher education.

Jennifer Franko, a teaching assistant professor in the School of Medicine at West Virginia University, received a grant from the National Institutes of Health to study differences in the immune systems of men and women. Dr. Franko will conduct research on the gut microbiome — the microbes that live in our digestive tract — can alter sex-specific immune responses. Her project will focus on short-chain fatty acids, metabolites that the bacteria in our gut produce as they break down the food we eat.

The University of Maryland A. James Clark School of Engineering received a three-year, $3 million grant from Lockheed Martin. The grant will fund work related to vertical takeoff and landing research at the school’s rotorcraft lab. The funds will also be used to support the Clark School’s Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering. The Center looks to increase the enrollment of women and underrepresented minorities in STEM fields.

The University of Notre Dame received a gift from the Johnson family of Duluth, Minnesota, that will help fund the construction of a women’s residence hall on campus. At nearly 70,000 square feet, the character and design of Johnson Family Hall will be unique, integrating elements of campus architecture and Notre Dame residence hall traditions, including a chapel, courtyard and various spaces for studying and socializing. The new hall will house 225 women and is expected to open in the fall of 2020. Todd Johnson is chairman and CEO of Capstan Corporation.

The Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis received a five-year, $3 million grant to fund an intervention program aimed at reducing HIV risk for women sex workers in Uganda. Nearly 1,000 women will be given either savings accounts, financial literacy skills, or vocational training. Investigators hope that improving the women’s financial situations and job prospects will result in less sexual risk-taking and limit the spread of HIV.

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