SMCM Student, Professor Receive Rare Research Grant - Southern Maryland Headline News

SMCM Student, Professor Receive Rare Research Grant


Dr. John Ramcharitar, assistant professor of biology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, was awarded one of only four grants awarded nationally from the Support of Mentors and their Students from UnderRepresented Minorities (SOMAS-URM). Grant money will go to researching the impact of several FDA-approved pharmaceuticals that can produce toxic effects (ototoxic) in the inner ears of humans. Ramacharitar and his student assistant, Diana Roman, will test the drugs on the zebra fish. (Submitted photo)
Dr. John Ramcharitar, assistant professor of biology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, was awarded one of only four grants awarded nationally from the Support of Mentors and their Students from UnderRepresented Minorities (SOMAS-URM). Grant money will go to researching the impact of several FDA-approved pharmaceuticals that can produce toxic effects (ototoxic) in the inner ears of humans. Ramacharitar and his student assistant, Diana Roman, will test the drugs on the zebra fish. (Submitted photo)

ST. MARY’S CITY, Md. (March 05, 2010)—Dr. John Ramcharitar, assistant professor of biology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM), was awarded one of only four grants awarded nationally from the Support of Mentors and their Students from UnderRepresented Minorities (SOMAS-URM). Grant money will go to researching the impact of several FDA-approved pharmaceuticals that can produce toxic effects (ototoxic) in the inner ears of humans. Ramacharitar and his student assistant, Diana Roman, of Westminster, Maryland, will test the drugs on the zebra fish.

“Diana is a highly productive member of my lab team,” said Ramcharitar. “She is currently involved in an ototoxicity study involving goldfish and she has the skill set for successfully completing the SOMAS work. We appreciate this $9,000 grant and hope that this work will shed light on the phenomenon of ototoxicity.”

A recent National Science Board report underscores the need to enhance recruitment and retention of students in the sciences to strengthen the economic and scientific foundation of the United States. SOMAS-URM addresses this need using a two-pronged strategy: junior faculty receive mentoring and instruction in launching research programs that engage student collaborators and college students are introduced to discovery in the neurosciences by conducting original research with their professors.

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