University of Nebraska Foundation announces campus grants
University of Nebraska Foundation announces campus grants
Awards support university's strategic focus on water, cancer, study abroad

The University of Nebraska Foundation’s board of directors awarded $1.17 million to the University of Nebraska through its annual grants program to support projects and initiatives on all four campuses.

The grants will help the University of Nebraska at Omaha conduct water and health information research; allow the University of Nebraska Medical Center to purchase equipment for core research facilities in cancer and diabetes; allow the University of Nebraska at Kearney to improve its science and business programs; and help University of Nebraska–Lincoln faculty develop study abroad programs, among other programs.

"Given the current financial climate, we’re especially pleased to award grants in support of projects aligned with campus priorities and the university’s overall strategic framework," said Brian Hamilton of Grand Island, a member of the University of Nebraska Foundation’s board of directors and chairman of the grants committee. "We're extremely thankful for the ongoing and generous support from donors across Nebraska and the country who make this support possible."

The following projects received funding:

University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • $128,725 to enhance the UNK observatory, including new telescopes and accessories, while supporting courses and research in astronomy and earth science. The observatory is used by more than 300 university students each year and is accessible to high school students and community groups across central Nebraska. The award complements other funds received, including a grant from NASA.
  • $50,000 to equip a laboratory used by students in the industrial distribution program to mimic the settings in which they will be working. The academic program, which is the only undergraduate program of its kind in Nebraska and has a job placement rate of more than 99 percent, prepares students for careers at companies that distribute electrical supplies, machine and power tools, safety equipment and other wholesale industrial items.
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • $250,000 toward a multiyear commitment to support construction of the Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center, which is scheduled to open in January 2010 to serve as home to campus organizations and offices focused on diversity efforts.
  • $165,000 to support the campus’ Initiative for Teaching and Learning Excellence by providing resources to enable faculty to develop and lead study abroad experiences for students.
University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • $121,000 to enhance and join two research laboratories and their important research aimed at protecting Nebraskans’ health and water.
  • $76,920 to involve student researchers in developing software and databases that help address elevated levels of breast cancer in Nebraska and other areas of the country by creating math models on how cells communicate with each other.
  • $68,500 to help develop a research laboratory focused on development of software and technology solutions that seek patterns in large amounts of health science data, with the goal of better understanding genetics, disease and health issues.
University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • $105,966 for equipment that provides information about the structure of macromolecules and passes light through proteins to allow researchers to gather information faster and more accurately about their unique signature. The equipment brings new technology to campus. Research applications include cancer, nanomedicine, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases and drug development.
  • $94,530 for an instrument to help researchers deduce the shape of proteins exactly as they look on the cell surface so new drugs and drug delivery systems can be designed in the treatment of cancer, diabetes, infectious diseases and neurological diseases. This technology is new to the University of Nebraska.
  • $85,046 for a high-speed centrifuge that spins at 90,000 rotations per minute to separate small parts of cells or viruses and large molecules so they may be studied further. It will aid federally funded projects in cancer, gene expression, cell biology, diabetes, drug delivery and nanomedicine.
  • $24,606 for ultralow temperature freezers that preserve cells and antibodies for long periods of time and benefit more than 50 percent of all research at UNMC involving isolation, purification and characterization of components of cells and tissues, including many federally funded research programs.
Much of the University of Nebraska Foundation's annual grant resources are made available from unrestricted donations to the foundation. The chancellors submit proposals annually for the grant money, and the proposals are aligned with the university's strategic framework, as outlined by the University of Nebraska president.

The University of Nebraska Foundation is a private, nonprofit corporation that has raised private gifts to support the University of Nebraska for 73 years. Last year, it provided more than $130 million—the most ever—for students, faculty, academic programs, research, and for campus and building improvements on all four campuses. More information is available at nufoundation.org.

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