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Press Release

Barbara Laskin

Research Corporation for Science Advancement Awards Macalester $75,000 to Investigate Dangerous Fungus

January 21, 2010 – St. Paul, Minn.– Macalester College has received a two-year, $75,000 grant to support the study of a fungus that annually kills 3,500 people in the U.S.

The Multiple Investigator Cottrell College Science Award was awarded to Professors Chris Calderone, Biology, and Becky Hoye, Chemistry, to study natural products of a human pathogenic fungus, Aspergillus fumigates. By understanding the machinery involved in generating these natural products, they hope to identify therapeutic strategies against Aspergillus fumigatus.

The grant is from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA). Created in 1912, RCSA is America’s second-oldest foundation and the first dedicated solely to science.

RCSA’s Multi Investigator Cottrell College Science Awards are directed to cross-disciplinary teams of early career faculty in primarily undergraduate institutions and are partnerships between the institution and the foundation. The goals of the program are to help faculty initiate a sustainable program of research, engage undergraduates in research with faculty and produce significant scientific results that underpin the future research program of the faculty and scientific education of undergraduates.  Projects funded address complex, interdisciplinary problems that require a cross-disciplinary team approach to achieve significant progress and sustainability. 

The awards are highly competitive – of 19 proposals, only seven awards were made in this round -- and the selection process includes review by international leaders in the field and a summary evaluation by a panel of research experts from U.S. academia.  The awards provide crucial early career funding that significantly aids the development of faculty, advances students to careers in science, and enables faculty and students to work across traditional disciplinary boundaries.  These purposes advance the quality of U.S. science education.

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 1,958 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism and civic engagement.