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USDA Awards $1 Million to North Carolina State University to Train Students in Human Health and Nutrition

Media Contact: Jennifer Martin, (202) 720-8188

KANNAPOLIS, N.C., Nov. 19, 2009 – USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced today that it has awarded $1 million to North Carolina State University to launch a scholarship program that will train graduate students in the fields of human health, nutrition and food science.  NIFA Director Roger Beachy made the announcement today at the North Carolina Research Center (NCRC) in Kannapolis, N.C.

“To address critical issues in human health and nutrition -- and especially our priority areas of global hunger and child obesity --we need to train the best and brightest in these fields,” Beachy said.  “NIFA’s investment today will ensure we are prepared to find solutions to health and nutrition problems in the future.              

Students who participate in the Kannapolis Scholars program will be immersed in a rich transdisciplinary training environment at the NCRC that spans subject matter from the field to the fork.  This training will enable students to develop integrated approaches to solving complex problems within the broad domain of functional foods, bioactive food components, and human health.  Students will have access to advanced instrumentation such as high-throughput sequencing, mass spectrometry, laser imaging and world-class, high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance.  Program participants will also learn techniques spanning molecular-cellular to plant and animal models to human clinical studies.

The program will provide a stipend to cover the students’ first 15-months of graduate study, including tandem 10-week summer sessions at NCRC that flank the first year of coursework undertaken on their respective home campuses.

The grant was awarded through NIFA’s Agricultural and Food Research Initiative (AFRI).  As one of the first AFRI education grants, it was jointly funded through AFRI’s Bioactive Food Components for Optimal Health and Improving Food Quality and Value programs.  Adding an education component to AFRI signifies NIFA and Beachy’s strong commitment to raising up the next generation of scientists.

Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, NIFA focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people's daily lives and the nation's future. For more information, visit


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