Paine College Assistant Biology Professor Receives $193,000 STEM Research Grant

Posted by painewebmaster | 07/15/2015 11:48 AM

Paine College Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Gabriel Swenson received a $193,000 grant for the project “Seasonal Mobilization and Acid Stress Response of Opportunistic Enteric Pathogen Communities in Freshwater Ecosystems.” 

This grant through the National Science Foundation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) Research Initiation Awards (RIAs) will provide Paine College undergraduate students with advanced skills in environmental science and allow the College’s Education majors to develop an online teaching module for area high schools. 

According to the abstract, the research will investigate the seasonal affects of "physicochemical factors influencing pathogen community composition and environmental elicitation of acid stress response (ASR) in an aquatic watershed." The findings from this study may shed new light on how these seasonal events could be related to diseases (I.e. Cholera) in humans.

The project primarily focuses on investigating two aspects: characterize the role of rainfall events in mobilization of sediment-associated bacterial communities into a seasonal wetland; and characterize ASR elicitation of the bacterial community within a wetland and riverine system. 

Swenson has been a faculty member of Paine College since 2006. He earned a doctorate in Biological Science from the University of South Carolina with an emphasis in Microbial Ecology.