Research funds pour in at UMC
By Kathleen Baydala
April 19, 2010
Barbara Alexander began her career in medical research decades ago as a college student working in a lab.
"I fell in love," said Alexander, now an associate professor of physiology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. She is conducting a major study into the connection between low birth weight babies and high blood pressure - both low-birthweight babies being born to hypertensive mothers and those babies developing hypertension as adults.
Her research project is one of 21 at UMC to receive nearly $4.4 million in federal stimulus money this year. And Alexander hopes the $14,297 allotted to her will give a current student the same chance to become enamored with science.
The money, provided through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009, will allow Alexander to hire a summer research assistant.
"I will give them their own project related to my research, and they'll report weekly at our lab meeting and interact with others in the lab," she said.
By July, UMC anticipates a doubling in the amount of research dollars it receives from outside the state. The federal stimulus money also is "a small but important" part of that, said Associate Vice Chancellor of Research Dr. John Hall. It will pay for high-tech equipment, workers and construction.
Learn about research activity in your state