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Research Brings in $145M

Funded projects include everything from life-saving technologies to sustainable energy.
A student researcher in the BioScience Center pipettes a sample.
A student researcher in the BioScience Center pipettes a sample.

San Diego State University researchers continue to be among the most productive in the nation, securing 799 research grants and contracts worth nearly $145.2 million during the last fiscal year. 

Multiple disciplines across campus conduct research in a variety of investigative fields, and SDSU receives funding from many different sources.

Affecting lives around the world

“Our research is affecting lives in San Diego, throughout California and around the world,” said SDSU President Elliot Hirshman.

“Through this work, we are addressing challenges in public health, the environment, national security, energy and many other areas. Our students work hand in hand with our faculty and staff in our research enterprise. The knowledge and skills students develop in these experiences enhance their ability to contribute to our economic recovery, as well as their entrepreneurial spirit.”

SDSU was awarded 51 grants from the National Science Foundation, totaling $8,952,230. This includes an award to biology professor Forest Rohwer, who is using metagenomics to study unknown viral sequences and the microbial ecology of coral reefs — valuable ecosystems that are under considerable stress due to things like climate change and overfishing.

The fact that our faculty have consistently
been able to win these awards
demonstrates the kind of superior work they are doing.

Lifeblood of active research university

“Our faculty continue to produce important research that has impacts on our local, regional and national communities,” said Radmila Prislin, SDSU interim vice president for research.

“Research grants are the lifeblood of an active research university and the fact that our faculty have consistently been able to win these awards demonstrates the kind of superior work they are doing.”

Campaign Flag

Research conducted for the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health is one of many ways SDSU faculty are leading innovation and discovery, a key initiative of The Campaign for SDSU. With a unique focus on the teacher-scholar model, SDSU attracts researchers interested in solving the world’s most pressing problems, while showing students how to provide future solutions. Learn more about how SDSU leads innovation and discovery, and how you can help.

Funding from many sources

The National Institutes of Health awarded San Diego State researchers 103 grants with funding from that agency alone totaling $32.2 million. 

Karen Emmorey’s work, for example, was funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Her research focuses on understanding the nature of sign language processing and will result in practical applications for deaf individuals.

The National Cancer Institute supported health researcher Elva Arredondo’s work, which addresses the high rates of cancer and other chronic diseases in the Latino population by promoting physical activity.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute supported Mark Sussman’s studies on heart failure and myocardial cellular survival, which will lead to advances in diseases involving cell death including ischemia, infarction and aging. Sussman’s work will help doctors understand how to protect the heart from injury following a heart attack.

Additionally, the Small Business Administration provided $599,978 to support an “Advanced Defense Technologies Cluster” program to help small businesses develop defense-related technologies that will provide the U.S. military with new equipment, materials and tools that will save lives while helping them meet operational requirements in hostile environments. SDSU’s role is to leverage the many programs and resources in the region to provide training, education, research and partnerships for small businesses based in San Diego.

In 2009-2010, SDSU received $151 million in research grants and contracts. However, $18.7 million of that was from American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding, a program that wound down last year, but provided another $9.3 million to SDSU in the 2010-11 fiscal year.

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