New HBU Research Alliance with MD Anderson

The HBU College of Science and Engineering is pleased to announce the award of a $300,000, three-year grant from the National Science Foundation under the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Hispanic Serving Institutions (IUSE-HSI) Program. This grant supports a project that aims to prepare Hispanic students for participation in a high-impact summer research program, giving them the skills necessary to complete their STEM academic curriculum at HBU and be competitive in the STEM workforce.

This project will develop a unique partnership between HBU and research labs at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The award at HBU will be led by Dr. Meredith O’Hara, associate professor of Biology and associate dean for Strategic Initiatives in the College, and by Dr. Hannah Wingate, associate professor of Biology. Ten students per year, for three years, will participate in a rigorous and focused program at HBU to prepare them for a summer undergraduate research experience at MD Anderson Cancer Center, and more importantly, a future in the STEM workforce. A substantial portion of the NSF IUSE-HSI resources will be dedicated to providing technology tools and mentorship to students during the academic year while they participate in the training  program at HBU, along with stipends that students will receive during their summer research experience.

Dr. Stan Napper, dean of the HBU College of Science and Engineering, said, “This highly competitive award from the National Science Foundation will develop strong technical and professional skills in our students to make them more productive and interactive members of research teams at the world’s best cancer research facility. Drs. O’Hara and Wingate have established partnerships with 23 leading researchers at MD Anderson who have agreed to participate and support qualified HBU student-researchers in their labs.”

Only five of the NSF IUSE-HSI project proposals were funded in this year’s competition. In the past year, since April 1, 2019, the College has been awarded nearly $4.5 million in external funding, including a $3 million award from the US Department of Education for “Building Successful Students in STEM” (Title V program), and more than $1 million from a private donor for direct scholarships to students in STEM majors at HBU.

The HBU College of Science and Engineering was established in 2019 from the combination of the new College of Engineering and the long-standing College of Science and Mathematics. The College is growing rapidly in enrollment and in relevance to the Houston metro area. The College offers degrees in science (biology, biochemistry and molecular biology, chemistry, mathematics) and engineering (cyber and electrical engineering, computer science). As a four-year private institution, HBU serves more than 3,700 undergraduate and graduate students, and ranks fifth in diversity among Regional Universities West according to the U.S. News & World Report.