Furman University was one of four PUIs in South Carolina supported by a $20M, 5-year cooperative agreement from NSF’s Research Infrastructure Improvement initiative (NSF-RII) to establish a statewide alliance in the field of tissue biofabrication (2008-2014). The primary goals of this program were to encourage the development of a three-dimensional vascular tree that can support the ultimate construction of artificial human organs. Furman received approximately $190,000/year in direct costs through June 2015 in support of this effort applied to a variety of programs, including (1) support of new faculty (CS and CHM); (2) support of new staff (Dr. John Kaup, Coordinator of Science Education); (3) support of postdoctoral faculty to work with Furman investigators on our campus; (4) support for new capital equipment and (5) support of summer research packages for faculty (34 awards) and students (54). The program was administered through Furman’s Office of Integrative Research in the Sciences with Dr. John Wheeler serving as Project Director.

Currently, Dr Wheeler serves as the Interim Director of the SC EPSCoR Office and in this role oversees a broad range of EPSCoR funded awards in the state. He is also leading out statewide effort to submit a new Track 1 award that if successful will bring nearly $20M to the state of SC (2017-2022).

OIRS Coordinator of Science Education (Dr. John Kaup) continues to serve as the SC EPSCoR Outreach Coordinator and as of 2015 is providing educational outreach for a Track II award (Bridging Cognitive Science and Neuroscience Using Innovative Imaging Technologies) managed by Dr. Prakash Kara (MUSC, Department of Neurosciences). Linking the Track II research focus with offerings within the SC Junior Academy of Science (SCJAS) will directly engage 100 teachers and 400 students, impacting high school curricular instruction through targeted materials support and ongoing engagement in teacher's home institutions, and enabling over 2,500 to be engaged in activities connected to brain and imaging sciences.

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