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Department of Biology Receives GAANN Grant Again

UC Riverside's Department of Biology Receives $953,000 GAANN Grant

Grant from Department of Education will assist K-12 outreach efforts

(May 13, 2003)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- UC Riverside biologists Rich Cardullo and Kim Hammond have received a $953,000 'Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need' (GAANN) grant from the Department of Education for three years beginning this fall. This is the second time the department of biology at UC Riverside has received the grant. While Cardullo and Hammond are the PI (principle investigator) and Co-PI, respectively, the department of biology and graduate students in the programs of biology, cell molecular and developmental biology, and genetics will receive the benefits of the grant.

"We are delighted to receive the grant again," said Hammond, associate professor of biology. "It will support about 30 graduate students. The students will participate in two quarters of a seminar on current and controversial topics and issues in biology. Thanks to this grant, they will be given time off their teaching responsibilities as teaching assistants in order to help them focus more on their research. In addition, they will have the opportunity to participate in outreach to local K-12 schools."

The department of biology at UC Riverside first received a GAANN grant in 1998, also for three years. "This program of study was very successful in the past," said Hammond. "Students left the GAANN training feeling as if they were simultaneously allowed to pursue their research while also becoming more well educated about important issues in biology that span many different disciplines. We found that the students also left with a much greater awareness of the importance of educational outreach to K-12 schools."

Because of the grant, students in the biology, cell molecular and developmental biology, and genetics programs are able to focus on their research leading to the Ph.D. degree. "Students are chosen based on their potential to be excellent researchers, scholars, and teachers," said Cardullo, professor of biology at UC Riverside. "Receiving this award may potentially shorten their time toward their degrees. But more important, we hope that our GAANN fellows will have a broader and more in-depth understanding of biology."

The UC Riverside Department of Biology serves three main functions: undergraduate instruction, graduate education, and research in basic biology. The department conducts research and teaching in many areas of life science including cell biology, conservation biology, developmental biology, ecology, evolution, molecular biology, physiology, and population biology. The department is part of the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, a multi-departmental unit dedicated to instruction and basic research in the physical and life sciences, and also to 'mission-oriented' applied research in the agricultural sciences. The Biology major is a popular undergraduate major on the UC Riverside campus, with approximately 1000 students currently enrolled. Biology also provides much of the undergraduate instruction for majors in other life science departments and other science majors.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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