The Kentucky EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Award will enhance research and education in two broad priority areas -- biological and environmental research - at the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville, and Murray State University. In biology, Kentucky EPSCoR will provide facilities and faculty in functional genomics, cellular and molecular proteomics, biomedical nano- and micro-electro-mechanical systems, and structural biology. In environmental research, Kentucky EPSCoR will set up facilities for the new Kentucky Environmental Research and Education Consortium (KEREC) at the University of Kentucky and Murray State University. The overarching goal of KEREC is to improve the quality, scope, and national competitiveness of Kentucky's environmental research programs by provision of faculty, staff, and laboratories. The facilities will include the Environmental Research and Training Laboratories housed within the College of Engineering and the University of Kentucky and the Center for Watershed Environments at Murray State University. Research in biological and environmental research is vital to the economy of both Kentucky and the nation. Each priority area has critical implications for human health, agriculture, and knowledge-based industry.
Education and human resource programs will be augmented through undergraduate training. A statewide fellowship program for minorities and underrepresented groups will be continued and augmented. A minority pipeline program for including faculty and undergraduate students from HBCUs and other regional universities in Kentucky's research programs will be extended to HBCUs beyond Kentucky. Predominately undergraduate institutions of the state will benefit from the Infrastructure Enhancement Program, which supports research and education outside of the major research universities.