Denison Professor Awarded Prestigious Grant
Date of Event: May 11, 2009
Posted: May 11, 2009 / Last Updated: May 21, 2009
Laura Romano, a Denison University assistant professor of biology, has been awarded a grant of more than $200,000 from the National Institutes for Health.
The grant is one of only four awarded to faculty members nationally as part of a special competition, “Enhancing Developmental Biology Research at Undergraduate Institutions.” It will fund equipment and travel to professional conferences and will support students working in the lab during the summer. Romano’s three-year project is a comparative analysis of genes required for skeleton formation in sea urchins.
Romano joined the Denison faculty in 2003. She has a Bachelor of Science from The College of William and Mary and a doctorate in cell biology from the University of Arizona.
“One of my first expenditures will be a trip to the annual conference for the Society for Developmental Biology in San Francisco in July,” Romano says. “I’m taking a student who has been working in my laboratory for two years. We will present a poster.” She adds, “I have to give much credit to the resources provided by Denison, which allowed me to generate the preliminary data that was necessary to be competitive for this grant. And those resources include the wonderful students recruited by the Office of Admissions.”
Her project utilizes the sea urchin as a model system to gain insight into mutations affecting congenital disorders in humans through a comparative analysis of genes that are responsible for formation of the larval skeleton.
According to its Web site, the NIH is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting medical research. NIH scientists investigate ways to prevent disease as well as the causes, treatments, and even cures for common and rare diseases. Composed of 27 institutes and centers, the NIH provides leadership and financial support to researchers in every state and throughout the world.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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