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HHMI awards $86.4 million for undergraduate science education

Biology is evolving rapidly, with more and more discoveries arising from interaction with other disciplines such as chemistry, mathematics and computer science. Undergraduate biology education is having a hard time keeping up. To address this challenge, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) is investing $86.4 million in bold and innovative science education programs at research universities across the country.

HHMI -- the nation's largest private supporter of science education -- continues to strengthen and enrich undergraduate science teaching at research universities with the new grants, which range from $1.5 million to $2.2 million. They will support programs at 50 universities in 28 states and the District of Columbia. The universities selected include six that have never before received an HHMI undergraduate science education grant: Georgia State University, New Mexico State University, the University of California, Riverside; the University of California, San Francisco; the University of Florida; and Virginia Commonwealth University.

"We believe it is vital to bring fresh perspectives to the teaching of established scientific disciplines and to develop novel courses in emerging areas, such as computational biology, genomics and bio-imaging, said Thomas R. Cech, HHMI president. "Our grantee universities are providing hands-on research experiences to help prepare undergraduates, including women and minorities underrepresented in the sciences, for graduate studies and for careers in biomedical research, medicine and science education. We also hope these grants will help the universities increase the science literacy of their students, including non-science majors."

Some of the newly funded programs will develop courses that reflect the interdisciplinary nature of scientific research today, melding computational and physical sciences and engineering with the life sciences. Others aim to hone the teaching and mentoring skills of pres
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Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
aisenc@hhmi.org
317-843-2276
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
1-Jun-2006


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