UT Receives $7 Million in Federal Grants

KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee has been awarded 10 federal grants for research projects worth more than $7 million.

Sen. Bill Frist recently announced the largest single grant of $1.75 million to UT’s Institute of Agriculture, to support the joint Appalachian Horticulture Research unit of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. Tennessee State University is a co-sponsor of the project.

“The grant will be used to develop new varieties of dogwoods that are resistant to powdery mildew and anthracnose,” said Buddy Mitchell, interim vice president for agriculture.

“These diseases have a significant negative financial impact on the horticulture industry,” he said. “We will develop varieties that are resistant to these devastating diseases.”

Basic breeding research will be conducted by faculty and graduate students at UT’s agricultural campus. Growing and testing of the new varieties will occur at the Tennessee State experiment station in McMinnville and at selected private nurseries across the state.

“This is a productive and effective joint relationship with Tennessee State that will provide significant service to the horticulture industry,” Mitchell said.

“We are grateful to the Tennessee congressional delegation for funding this important initiative.”

The UT Institute of Agriculture and UT Knoxville will receive another $1 million to create a Natural Resources Policy Center to address public policy issues regarding the management and use of natural resources.

The center will be a joint effort between the college of engineering, the department of forestry, wildlife and fisheries and the department of agricultural economics.

The UT Cancer Institute will receive $500,000 to fund additional research efforts. The Institute is part of the division of hematology and oncology at the UT Health Science Center in Memphis.

The Cancer Institute is a unique partnership between the Health Science Center and Boston Baskin Cancer Group. It includes collaboration with Methodist Healthcare and other major healthcare and research institutions in the city and region.

Their goals are eradication of cancer through innovative research in prevention, detection and providing state-of-the-art care for hematology and oncology patients.

The institute provides patients with medical, radiation and surgical oncology expertise, as well as diagnostic and support care services.

Other money earmarked for UT:
– $750,000 for the Health Science Center to support the Delta Health Partnership. This multi-state consortium provides community-based educational programs for primary health care providers within the lower Mississippi Delta Region.
– $250,000 for the UT Medical Center High Risk Newborn Services Expansion Project.
– $250,000 for the East Tennessee Law Enforcement Innovation Center (LEIC). LEIC is part of the Institute for Public Service and provides innovative resources supporting law enforcement efforts.
– $750,000 for the Southeastern Regional Sun Grant Center at the UT Institute of Agriculture to support the development of bio-based energy technologies and educational programs.
– $680,000 for UT’s West Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station in Jackson to support cropping systems research. Funding will support efforts to improve crop value by helping farmers in the Mississippi River watershed optimize disease control while maintaining the best crop management practices to protect soil and water quality.
– $628,000 to the UT Institute of Agriculture to support wood utilization research and the development of engineered wood products including composites, strand-oriented materials and other value-added products that are important to Tennessee’s forestry industry.
– $500,000 to support a low cost carbon fiber research project.