Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Alabama State University Program Creates International Collaboration

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Alabama State University Program Creates International Collaboration

Article excerpt

Thousands of miles separate Alabama State University in Montgomery, Ala. from Ege University in Izmir, Turkey, but scientific research is bridging the gap between the two universities.

This summer, two Turkish scientists from Ege traveled to ASU for the first time to learn new nanotechnology techniques at ASU'S Center for NanoBiotechnology Research (CNBR). The summer program is part of the center's global joint effort to create intercontinental research and educational collaborations with academic institutions and private industries. Participating countries include China, India, Argentina, the United Kingdom, Japan and Singapore.

The scientists, who speak very little English, are helping to eliminate foodborne bacteria and developing a drug delivery system to prevent antibiotic resistance.

Dr. Guwven Ozdemir, professor of microbiology and co-head of the Biology Department at Ege University, is working on producing drugs that dissolve slowly when taken. When available, the time-released drugs can reduce the amount of medication patients consume for common conditions such as inflammation and diabetes. One drug has already been produced, and the joint project is seeking a commercial partnership to conduct clinical trials.

"I look forward to seeing the recent developments and new techniques making research collaborations in CNBR and teaching new methods regarding nanobiotechnology to our researchers upon my return to Ege University," says Ozdemir in a translated written statement.

Dr. Ihsan Yasa, associate professor of microbiology at Ege University, will test new nanomaterial that can be used to kill foodborne bacteria. His research will aid in the development of antibiotics to treat salmonella, E. coli or other bacteria that have become increasingly drug resistant.

"I think the center and its resources would provide the best path for me to learn about the new emerging areas of nanobiotechnology with a focus on nanogenomics," says Yasa, also in a translated written statement. "CNBR helps me to visualize the idea of performing world-class research; it assists me in integrating research between ASU and Ege University and will act as an enhancer in developing new programs in nanobiotechnology."

Ozdemir and Yasa's three-month visit was arranged by ASU and largely funded by the Turkish government.

"It brings our research to the global level," says Dr. Shree R. Singh, director of CNBR.

Established in 2007, CNBR houses about 25 people, including administrative staff, faculty, students and post-doctoral students. …

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