Oxy Receives $1.4 Million Grant from HHMI
Occidental College has been awarded a $1.4 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).
The grant is just the latest evidence that Occidental’s undergraduate research program – which sent 33 students to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research this month and routinely produces national award winners – is among the country’s best, Occidental faculty and administrators say.
“We want our students to learn science by getting their feet wet doing it,” said Professor Chris Craney, chair of the biochemistry program and director of Occidental’s Undergraduate Research Center. “It’s the way future doctors learn medicine – through collaborations in professional settings.”
Occidental’s undergraduate research program received one of 10 Awards for the Integration of Research and Education from the National Science Foundation in 1998. Each summer, more than 125 students and 60 faculty members collaborate on research projects in a wide range of disciplines, in addition to more than 250 students during the academic year.
The HHMI grant is Occidental’s fifth from the prestigious philanthropy since 1988.
The new funding will allow Occidental science students to experience superior internships in real research scenarios at prestigious institutions such as Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the University of Chicago Medical Center. Environmental science students can take advantage of “On the Edge: Life, Earth and the Future,” an interdisciplinary course in which students will study ecosystems in Occidental’s own diverse “backyard” – Southern California’s mountains, desert and ocean. The grant also will allow for the expansion of an existing outreach program that provides professional development opportunities and loan of science equipment to local elementary, junior high and high school science teachers.
One of the world’s largest philanthropies, HHMI is a nonprofit medical research organization that employs hundreds of leading biomedical scientists working at the forefront of their fields. HHMI has an endowment of approximately $18.7 billion.
A nationally recognized, highly selective college of the liberal arts and sciences – one of the few located in a major city – 121-year-old Occidental is at the forefront of interdisciplinary, intercultural education. With 1,850 students drawn from 45 states and 22 countries and a variety of backgrounds, Occidental’s mission is to provide a gifted and diverse group of students with a total educational experience of the highest quality.