Latest Sponsored Research News


Major new awards include the following.  For information on all awards, please see:  SSU Awards


October 2018:  DOD Research and Education HBCU/MI Program - Dr. Takayuki Nitta

The DOD REP program has awarded Dr. Nitta, Assistant Professor, Biology,  a $557,152 award for his research project, "Role of Lipids Reorganized by Viral Proteins and Restriction Factors in Viral Life Cycle."Dr. Nitta's project aims to identify the interaction of lipids, viral accessory proteins, and host restriction factors, to provide new insights and knowledge on the fundamental aspects of innate immunity and host-virus coevolution. The project supports the DOD mission by contributing to the development of medical countermeasures to protect military/civilian personnel from virus based weapons and diseases. Dr. Nitta is supported by Dr. Karla-Sue Marriott, Co-PI. Dr. Manoj Prasad, Chemistry, is also supporting the project in summers 1-2.  The project will also engage 3 students/year in this research.The award is $557,172 and has a 3 year term (October 1, 2018 to Sep 30, 2021).


October 2018:  DOD Research and Education HBCU/MI Program - Dr. Amanda Kaltenberg

The DOD REP program has awarded Dr. Amanda Kaltenberg, Marine Science for her project "Marine Mammal Associations with Environmental and Prey Variability of Cape Hatteras." The award is $487,000 with a 3 year term (Sep 30, 2018 to Sep 29, 2021). The project will determine the variability in environmental and prey field conditions in the area off Cape Hatteras (a bio-diversity hotspot with the greatest number of marine mammal species found across the US East Coast) in response to Gulf Stream influences. The project will also enhance teaching in bioacoustics and big data analysis. The project will support 2 Masters in Marine Science students; their thesis research topics will center on the project.


September 2018:  US Department of Education GEAR UP - Ms. Tamara Waterman

The US Department of Education has awarded SSU a new seven year award for its GEAR UP Partnership Grant program.  Funding is $560,000/year for the period October 1, 2018 - September 30, 2025 for a total award of $3,920,000.  The program will provide specialized education support services for 700 students per year with the goal to increase high school graduation and entry into college.  The program is a partnership with the Savannah Chatham County Public School System. It will support 700 6th and 7th grade students from Derenne and Hubert Middle Schools as a cohort and will support and track them through entry into Beach and Savannah High Schools and into the 1st year of college. 


 July 2018:  NSF IUSE GEOPATHS - Dr. Sue Ebanks

NSF awarded a $177,512 award for year 1 funding for Dr. Sue Ebanks' IUSE GEOPATHS proposal:  GP-IMPACT: Expanding HBCU Pathways for Geoscience Education.   It is expected that the project will receive 3 year funding totaling $531,879.  The project is a collaboration between SSU, Tennessee State, and Florida A&M University. The project aims to increase the diversity of the geosciences workforce through a theory-driven process of intervention design and evaluation for HBCU teacher preparation programs.  For more information, contact the PI Dr. Sue Ebanks at


June 2018:  Army Educational Outreach Office Battelle eCYBERMISSION - Dr. Asad Yousuf - Engineering Technology

The AEOP/Battelle eCYBERMISSION program aims to engage more students in STEM training and careers, including to serve the mission of DOD.  The SSU grant of $39,800 (term of May 1, 2018 to April 30, 2019) will recruit ~250 students, grades 6-9, from local SCCPSS schools to participate in STEM workshops and e-competitions.  For more information, contact the program PI Dr. Asad Yousuf at or go to SSU eCYBERMISSION website.


June 2018:  NSF/Georgia Gwinnett College - Dr. Andrea Moore - Biology

Drs. Andrea Moore (PI), Andrew Methven, Takayuki Nitta, and Xiaorong Zhang are promoting undergraduate research through a 3 year mini-grant through Georgia Gwinnett College's NSF-Improving Undergraduate STEM Education Grant. Funding of $30,000 is expected over 3 years, with initial funding of $7,707 for the period ending September 30, 2018.  The faculty will be developing and assessing Course Embedded Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) in introductory biology courses that will improve student learning. For more information, contact Dr. Moore at


May 2018:  NIH - $168,480 - Dr. Karla-Sue Marriott

NIH awarded a $168,480 award for year 1 funding of the new NIH NIBIB ESTEEMED Achieving Diversity through Integrative Scientific Research Experience (ADISRE) program.  The purpose of this program is to prepare highly talented freshmen/sophomore students for entry into PhD programs and biomedical research careers.  Over the 5 year term (total expected funding of $1.3M), the program will serve 5 cohorts of scholars (7 new scholars/year).   ADISRE Website


April 2018:  NIH  - $113,969 - Dr. Cecil Jones, Chemistry

NIH awarded a $113,969 award for year 1 funding of the renewed MARC U-STAR program.  This is a PhD preparation program for minority underrepresented undergraduate students, to prepare them for research careers as biomedical/behavioral scientists. Over the 5 year renewal term (2018 - 2023), the program aims to serve 13 merit scholars, providing financial and academic support and research training and mentoring, to prepare them to enter competitive PhD programs. For more information or to apply for a scholarship, contact the PI Dr. Cecil Jones at


April 2018:  National Science Foundation - $175,079 - Dr. Abhinandan Chowdhury, Mathematics

The NSF awarded a $175,079 Catalyst Award to Dr. Chowdhury, Assistant Professor, Mathematics, for his research project, "Catalyst Project:  Identification of Effective Heat Conductivity Coefficient of Particulate Two-Phase Materials."  This two year award will fund Dr. Chowdhury's research and also train 2 undergraduate math majors in high level math research to prepare them for graduate programs.  For more information, contact Dr. Chowdhury at


March 2018:  National Security Agency - $92,723 - Dr. Bryan Knakiewicz, Engineering Technology

The NSA awarded a $92,723 GenCyber grant award to Dr. Bryan Knakiewicz, Engineering Technology, to conduct a one week GenCyber summer camp in Summer 2018.  The goal is to engage 50 middle school students (grades 6-8) in hands on instruction in cybersecurity first principles.  Mr. Alberto de la Cruz, SSU Engineering Technology, will also support the summer camp.  For more information about the camp, please contact Dr. Knakiewicz at  or go to:  GenCyber Summer Camp Website


March 2018:  NSF HBCU-UP RIA - $299,961 - Dr. Takayuki Nitta, Biology

NSF awarded a $299,961 HBCU-UP Research Initiation Award (RIA) to Dr. Takayuki Nitta, Assistant Professor, Biology, for his research project "Mechanisms of Glyco-gag with Restriction Factors."   Over the 3 year project term, the award will fund Dr. Nitta's virology research and engage 3 undergraduate students in mentored research training.   For more information, contact Dr. Nitta at


January 2018:  Department of Energy - $750,000 - Dr. Kenneth Sajwan, Environmental Science

The US Department of Energy awarded SSU a $750,000 grant for Dr. Kenneth Sajwan's program, "Waste Management Education and Enhancing Environmental Science Program." Under this 5 year program (2018-2023), Dr. Sajwan will train 10 students each year in environmental science, radiation, and waste management, and will conduct an annual workshop for K-12 teachers and community leaders on teaching radiation, energy, and technology topics.  For more information, contact Dr. Sawjan at


September 2017:  US Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) - $671,465 - Dr. Kai Shen, Chemistry and Forensic Science

The AFOSR awarded SSU a $671,465 award for Dr. Kai Shen's research project "Sigma-1 Receptor Agonists as a Novel Therapeutic for Circadian Rhythm Disruption-Induced Fatigue." This is a 3 year grant with a term of September 30, 2017 to September 29, 2020.  For more information contact the PI Dr. Shen, Chemistry Department at


September 2017: US Department of Education HBCU Masters Degree Program - Marine Science and Mathematics - $2,500,000 - Dr. Carol Pride, Marine Science

The US Department of Education awarded SSU a $2.5M institutional award through the Title VII HBCU Masters Degree Program.  The purpose of this program is to build the capacity of HBCU STEM masters' programs thereby increasing the diversity of the STEM research/professional workforce. The SSU Masters in Mathematics and Marine Science (SSUMMS) Program will be a 6 year program (October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2023). Each year, it will support 10 academically meritorious scholars from the mathematics and marine science masters' programs, providing stipends and tuition, research, and travel support. For more information, contact the Program Director, Dr. Carol Pride at


August 2017: US Army HBCU Research and Education Program (REP) - $360,438 - Dr. Takayuki Nitta, Biology

The US Army awarded SSU a $360,438 award for Dr. Takayuki Nitta's REP equipment project "Acquisition of a Laser Confocal Microscope to Advance Research and Education at Savannah State University." This is a one year grant with a term of September 8, 2017 to September 7, 2018. For more information, contact Dr. Nitta, Biology Department, at


August 2017: US Army Gulf War Illness Research Program - $672,888 - Dr. Kai Shen, Chemistry and Forensic Science

The US Army awarded SSU a $672,888 award through the Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, Gulf War Illness Research program for Dr. Kai Shen's project "Sigma-1 Receptor Agonists as a Novel Therapeutic for Brain Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Gulf War Syndrome." This is a 3 year grant with a term of September 1, 2017 to August 31, 2020. For more information, contact the PI, Dr. Shen, at


July 2017:  NSF/Carleton College:  STEP Center:  InTeGrate:  Interdisciplinary Teaching of GeoScience for a Sustainable Future - $39,323 - PI Dr. Sue Ebanks, Marine and Environmental Sciences

Carleton College awarded Dr. Sue Ebanks a $39,323 subaward through its NSF STEP Center: InTeGrate: Interdisciplinary Teaching of GeoScience for a Sustainable Future" grant program. The objective of the subaward to SSU is to build environmental literacy skills in SSU students (STEM and non-STEM), by enriching SSU curriculum with adapted InTeGrate syllabi, fostering instruction, supporting first use of modules, and combining service learning with informal education for the local community. SSU curriculum to be enhanced will include Introduction to Marine Biology, Environmental Ethics, and Introduction to Africana Studies. For more information, contact the project PI at


July 2017:  US Department of Education, Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad:  Understanding Ghana   - $100,000 -  PI Dr. Emmanuel Naniuzeyi, International Education

The US Department of Education granted Dr. Emmanuel Naniuzeyi a $100,000 Fulbright-Hays award, "Understanding Ghana's History, Culture, and Geography through the North-South Divides:  An Expansion of the 2015 Ghana Group Project Abroad."  The project, in partnership with the Savannah Chatham County Public School System, will support 13 faculty/teacher participants (7 SSU, 6 SCCPSS) to travel to Ghana for four weeks in May/June 2018, for the purpose of building on the knowledge and partnerships gained in the 2015 project, enriching and enhancing the foreign language and social science curriculum of SSU and the SCCPSS, and conducting outreach and workshops for local Savannah community groups.  For more information including on the 2015 Ghana Abroad project, please contact the Project PI Dr. Emmanuel Naniuzeyi, Associate Vice President for International Education at:

Ghana Project Abroad


June 2017:  U.S. Department of Education Upward Bound Award - PI Mr. Bobby Roberts

The US Department of Education approved a new five-year grant award for SSU's Upward Bound Program (PI Mr. Bobby Roberts).  The current program has been funded for the period June 2013 to May 2018 with total funding of $2,925,962.  The new five year award of more than $3.7M  will continue the program services from 2018 to 2023.  The new program will support 139 high school students each year, with a targeted focus on low income and potential 1st generation college students, with the goal to increase the number who complete high school and who enter and complete college. Targeted schools to be served by the new program are A.E. Beach High School, R. W. Groves High School, Hershel V. Jenkins High School, Sol C. Johnson High School, and the School of Liberal Arts at Savannah High School.  For more information, contact Mr. Bobby Roberts, Upward Bound Program Director, at 912-358-3477 or:

Read more here.


May 2017:  Stacy Cobb, SSU BS graduate and NSF PSLSAMP scholar, is 1st African American to earn  PhD in statistics at UGA

Read more here.

Stacy Cobb
Stacy Cobb (Photo by UGA/Freeman Photographics)


April 2017:  Dr. Karla-Sue Marriott, Chair, Department of Chemistry/Forensic Science, awarded patent for chemical compound to combat neurological diseases.

Read more here.


April 2017: NSF Targeted Infusion Project - $399,972 - PI Dr. Agegnehu Atena, Mathematics

This project will develop a new Minor in Applied Math at SSU, enhance upper level math courses with interdisciplinary real world applications, and support 5 students per year in applied math research. 

Read more here.

For more information, contact the PI at


April 2017: NSF Targeted Infusion Project - $399,974 - PI Dr. Suman Niranjan, College of Business Administration

This project is developing an undergraduate certificate program in Data Analytics. The certificate program will be composed of new and enhanced existing courses (Foundations of Data Analytics, Applied Statistics, Big Data in Health Care, etc.) which will be integrated in/offered by the various collaborating departments:  Computer Information Systems, Computer Science Engineering Technology, Mathematics, Civil Engineering Technology, Marine Sciences, Urban Planning, etc. For more information, contact the PI, Dr. Suman Niranjan at or go to Data Analytics Certificate Website.