Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

OCAST Approves MRI Funding, Six Student Intern Partnerships

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

OCAST Approves MRI Funding, Six Student Intern Partnerships

Article excerpt

The Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology's board of directors has approved funding for a functional magnetic resonance imaging equipment users' facility.

The funding will total $952,000 over four years.

OCAST's board also approved six new student intern partnerships.

The MRI facility award went to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and will be managed by Rheal A. Towner, principal investigator, said Sheri Stickley, interim executive director of OCAST.

The purpose of the project is to provide resonance imaging to researchers focused on animal disease models for cancer as well as cardiovascular and neurological disorders. The animal research findings are expected to be transferred to human health care in the future.

Twenty-three researchers, from OMRF, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, the University of Oklahoma, the University of Central Oklahoma and Langston University as well as Zapaq, Encore Pharmaceuticals and Genzyme, will have access to the equipment at OMRF.

Awards approved Tuesday for the OCAST Faculty-Student Intern Partnership program total nearly $289,000. The awards are for undergraduate student internships in manufacturing, agriculture, biomedical, energy and weather.

A supplemental award of $10,000 was approved for a student intern partnership with SouthWest Nanotechnologies in Norman.

OCAST's Applied Research R&D Faculty/Student Intern Partnership program has been selected to represent Oklahoma for the 2005 Regional Innovator Award, according to the Southern Growth Policies Board.

The Oklahoma program is funded at 16 colleges and 12 companies in 18 cities statewide. To date, 308 undergraduate students have been interns at 72 Oklahoma firms.

The most recent program awards include:

* Professor Frank Chambers, Oklahoma State University School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, will coordinate students at Mercury MerCruiser of Stillwater. Engineering students will work on the development of water-cooled exhaust systems, seamless integration of the power train assembly into the boat assembly process and engine development. …

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