(Bluefield)—Dr. Tesfaye Belay, a Professor of Biology at Bluefield State College, has been selected to receive a $20,000 “Research Seed Grant” from the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium in the fiscal year 2017-18. The grant will fund laboratory supplies for BSC’s continuing NASA-related research project examining survival adaptations of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in starvation conditions. This ongoing study is of interest to NASA because of the organism’s ability to survive and maintain pathogenicity in otherwise sterile conditions, such as spacecraft water supplies.
“This grant will strengthen Bluefield State College’s ability to strengthen the depth and breadth of NASA research work initiated at BSC,” Dr. Belay noted. Through grant awards from NASA WV Space Grant Consortium, Dr. Belay’s lab has trained several students in NASA-related research projects. Students working on this project will present posters of their research findings in the upcoming Research Day in the Capitol and WV-INBRE Summer Internship Symposium.