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DOD Funds HBCUs to Advance Biotechnology and Materials Science Research

Two historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have been selected to receive a collective $15 million in Defense Department funding to form centers of excellence in biotechnology and materials science. The Pentagon currently views the two topics as near-term priotirites. The two institutions selected are Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, and the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro. The former will be tasked with focusing on the technological potential of an emergent class of two-dimensional materials for military uses. Among the technologies explored will be thermally-managed photo sensors and wearable photovoltaics.

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University will run the Center for Biotechnology, conducting research alongside the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine to produce technology that can detect and monitor chemical and biological threat agents. The monitoring will be made possible by deploying a micro-engineered, organ-equivalent system. The centers will also be responsible for providing training to underrepresented students pursuing studies in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or STEM.

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