USM President Updates - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

USM President Updates

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Southern Miss President Dr. Rodney Bennett hosted a roundtable discussion this morning.  He said he isn't ready to release final enrollment numbers but is pleased with the way the school year is going so far.

He boasted that last week marked the full return of the Gulf Park campus after Hurricane Katrina following the grand opening of Elizabeth Hall.

Bennett also discussed the 23 projects either recently completed, in progress or soon scheduled to begin in Hattiesburg.

He announced that the university received a National Institutes of Health Renewal Grant that goes through 2018 for a total of $54million. Bennett said the grant will support further research in a broad range of biomedical related areas.

He thanked the principal investigator for the grant Dr. Glenn Shearer and the grant's program coordinator Dr. Mohamed Elsasri for their work in achieving the grant.

"These two are on the front line of cutting edge research that's changing the lives of Mississippians," Bennett said.

He said the grant will cover research in several areas including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, teen pregnancy, obesity and sexually transmitted diseases.  USM Vice President of Research Dr. Gordon Cannon said this is especially important since Mississippi is the most unhealthy state in the country.

"But one great thing in this picture is something that we're not short on, that's brain power," Cannon said. 

He said multiple institutions in 22 states competed for the grant, so he is proud of USM's accomplishment.

"These folks are going to be doing research that impacts everybody, not just Mississippi," Shearer said. 

He said their work is a team effort that wouldn't be possible without the NIH grant, USM administration and colleagues across the state.

 

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