Spotlight on Research
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JSU was chosen to participate in a research project funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. JSU was one of only twelve colleges and universities in the nation chosen through a competitive application process for inclusion in the Science Education Alliance's National Genomics Research Initiative (NGRI) in 2010. The National Genomics Research Initiative is a two-part, year-long course that enables students to make real discoveries by doing research on bacterial viruses, called bacteriophages. HHMI has committed $4 million to the program over four years, and only 36 universities and colleges were invited to participate over the entire course of the initiative.
Dr. Murdock and Dr. Debro with a student participating in the project.

Class with iPads

Apple Inc. has invested time and training at JSU. JSU recognizes the importance of integrating technology and teaching methods. Recently, Apple iPads were distributed to the Dr. Nina King's Creative and Mental class and Dr. Gordon Harvey's Ancient History class. The iPads will prepare students for the widespread deployment of mobile devices in the virtual and physical classrooms.

In the Creative and Mental class, students will use the iPads to develop curriculum, device management processes, and infrastructure analysis that will facilitate the implementation of technology in a project based learning environment. Students will also use the iPads to conduct research, take exams, and take notes for class. JSU is committed to integrating technology in the classroom.

Technology and Engineering Student

In May 2010, the National Science Foundation awarded Jacksonville State University a grant of $415,000 to support the Critical Infrastructure Security and Assessment Laboratory (CISAL) project. Dr. Guillermo Francia III, as the principal investigator, directs CISAL with Dr. Aaron Garrett, Dr. Ming Yang, Dr. Nourredine Beckouce, and Mr. Terry Marbut as co-principal investigators. CISAL investigates vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure systems, conducts penetration tests of such systems, and recommends measures to protect critical systems. This is a cross-disciplinary project between the Mathematical, Computer and Information Sciences (MCIS) and the Engineering and Technology department.


Following the BP Deepwater Horizon Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP committed $500 million over a 10 year period to create a broad, independent research program to be conducted at research institutions primarily in the US Gulf Coast States. The program was named the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GRI).1 In January 2011 the GRI awarded Jacksonville State University seven grants totaling $210,000. The projects funded ranged from assessing the meiofauna abundance/diversity in the northern Gulf of Mexico to studying the interaction of the oil spill with marine sediments and solid surfaces.
Oil spill clean-up
Principal investigators were Dr. Frank Romano, Dr. Jim Rayburn and Dr. Safaa Al-Hamdani from the Biology Department and Dr. Jan Gryko, Dr. Nixon Mwebi, Dr. Al Nichols, and Dr. David Steffy from the Department of Physical and Earth Sciences. Jacksonville State University graduate and undergraduate students will also be assisting in the research projects. Working collaboratively with other university faculty members and researchers at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, these projects will help explain the impact of the spill on the environment. The objectives of the GRI are to investigate the impacts of the oil, dispersed oil, and dispersant on the ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico and affected Gulf Coastal States in a broad context of improving fundamental understanding of the dynamics of such events, the associated environmental stresses, and the public health implications. The ultimate goal of the GRI will be to improve society's ability to understand and respond to the impacts of petroleum pollution and related stressors of the marine and coastal ecosystems, with an emphasis on conditions in the Gulf of Mexico. Knowledge accrued will be applied to restoration and to improvement of the long-term environmental health of the Gulf of Mexico.