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Missouri State University President Clif Smart will tell you that research is strong at the school, where undergraduate students are getting hands on experience in projects ranging from health to agriculture.
To better highlight those projects, MSU recently published Mind’s Eye. This 19-page compilation features, among others, work by Dr. Paul Durham, professor of cell biology and director of the Center for Biomedical and Life Sciences.
“He is working on a variety of testing drugs, in terms of minimizing or treating migraine headaches,” Smart says.
An international expert on the trigeminal nerve and orofacial pain, Durham studies the biological basis for migraines, toothaches, gum pain, and more.
Smart says that Missouri State is one of the top three institutions in the country on grapevine bio-technology, noting the university’s success in developing strains of the Norton grape that are resistive to viruses.
“Grapevines are attacked by all sorts of fungus and disease, and we’ve advanced the ball significantly in developing healthy grapevines that can be bred with other kinds of grapes; and so that you can grow grapes in all sorts of more challenging climates like Missouri, like China.”
He credits the colleges of Health and Human Services, Natural and Applied Science, and the Darr School of Agriculture – from which these research projects are conducted – to MSU’s strong enrollment growth.
Last year, Missouri State received slightly over $20 million in externally-sponsored grants. And while he concedes that MSU is not a research university that receives hundreds of millions of dollars, Smart says the Mind’s Eye publication shows that “we are also involved in cutting-edge research.”
The publication, which is available online, also analyzes research to improve literacy in children and working with endangered Asian elephants, among others.
Above, hear the full conversation with President Clif Smart, which takes place monthly on Engaging the Community.