Recovery Act Impact: UMass Dartmouth Research Programs
UMass Dartmouth received a total of $1.01 million in stimulus funding to further the research that is being conducted here. One of those grants -- $201K -- went to aid in the research of cranio-facial development. But biology professor Dr. Tracy Ferraira, whose lab is conducting the research, noted that the grant goes way beyond the research.
"The goal of the grant is to identify what gene is mutating," she said. "But we are also getting students in the lab and making them more competitive. That translates into success for the students. The biggest impact of the stimulus dollars are that my students can go out and get jobs."
According to Dr. Ferraira, the grant enabled her to enroll 8 undergraduates to work on independent research projects in her lab.
The emphasis on engaging undergraduates and the community is seen throughout the campus laboratories. Dr. Amit Tandon's lab which studies ocean productivity received a $328K stimulus grant to understand the processes that support the ocean ecosystem. Based on the research, the researchers are conducting workshops for teachers, used experiments in school outreach and have participated in high school symposia.
Another stimulus grant of $200K enabled UMass Dartmouth to acquire a cutting edge supercomputer. According to Dr. Robert Fisher, a physics professor and the principal investigator on the grant, the new supercomputer will boost the computing capability of researchers at the university. "It will enable us to develop and deploy technology to solve technical challenges," said Craig Oliviera, enterprise systems administrator at the university. "It pushes UMass Dartmouth to a whole new plateau."