Howard Hughes Medical Institute Gives $1.5 Million to Texas Tech's Science Education
June 1, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: June 1, 2006
CONTACT: John Davis, email@example.com
LUBBOCK – Texas Tech is one of four Texas universities and 50 universities nationwide
to receive a Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant to support undergraduate research.
The $1.5 million grant will support TTU’s Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science
Education Program for the next four years. This is the fifth consecutive grant for
TTU since the program began in 1992.
The science education program allows undergraduate students the chance to work in
the laboratory with faculty research scientists, said Dr. Michael San Francisco, director
for the program. It provides students with new opportunities in research and hands-on
science educational activities and motivates and guides area school teachers with
new skills to bring science into their classrooms.
“The grant will help us to continue our current undergraduate research and science
education activities with faculty,” San Francisco said. “It will help us to continue
our pre-college and outreach programs. Also, we work with teacher leaders in this
area. We train them and have traveling labs for them to enhance their skills and their
abilities to bring science into the classroom.”
San Francisco said the program will expand over the next four years to begin a teacher
training program to enhance the classroom skills for post-doctoral and doctoral students
who wish to become future faculty members.
“This grant validates our activities,” he said. “It shows the university’s not only
functioning within itself. It’s going out and educating students and teachers. We
bring science to the community at large.”
Dr. Donald Haragan, Texas Tech’s interim chancellor, said the HHMI Science Education
Program distinguishes the university as a leader in science education.
“The initiative to develop programs in undergraduate research resulted from HHMI support,”
Haragan said. “Furthermore, the science teacher support initiative was a direct result
of the resources provided by HHMI. The HHMI – Texas Tech partnership has been one
of the principal drivers for the development of science education at the university,
and the undergraduate research models developed with HHMI support are now being used
across the campus, particularly by the Honors College.”
HHMI has supported undergraduate science education at the nation’s colleges and universities
since 1988. Through its undergraduate grants, the institute has provided 247 institutions
of higher learning with nearly $700 million for programs that include undergraduate
research opportunities; new faculty, courses, and labs; teaching and mentoring training;
and work with precollege students and teachers.
A nonprofit medical research organization, HHMI was established in 1953 by the aviator-industrialist.
The institute, headquartered in Chevy Chase, Md., is one of the largest philanthropies
in the world, with an endowment of $14.8 billion at the close of its 2005 fiscal year.
HHMI spent $483 million in support of biomedical research and $80 million for support
of a variety of science education and other grants programs in fiscal 2005.
CONTACT: Dr. Michael San Francisco, program director for the Texas Tech University
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science Education Program, (806) 742-2706, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Media are invited to take photos or footage of Dr. David Straus, professor
of microbiology and immunology, and his HHMI undergraduate research fellow. They are
available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at 4C127 of Texas Tech University Health Sciences
Center. Reporters must make an appointment with Straus by calling (806) 743-2523.]