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Connecticut College science professor awarded $225K grant to continue cutting-edge bioluminescence research

NEW LONDON, Conn. - Bruce Branchini, the Hans and Ella McCollum ´21 Vahlteich Professor of Chemistry at Connecticut College, has been awarded a $225,000 Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) grant to continue his cutting-edge research on bioluminescence, the emission of light by living organisms. This project is 100 percent federally funded.

The grant allows Branchini to continue a research project he started in 2007 with the goal of discovering, designing and demonstrating the feasibility of using bioluminescent materials. The grant enables him to employ student researchers to assist him in the lab, where the students will receive hands-on research experience. Branchini, who earned the college´s 2002 Nancy Batson Nisbet Rash Faculty Research Award for his extensive research, has been awarded numerous National Science Foundation (NSF) grants to support student research, international travel, major equipment acquisition and building renovations. In 2009, he received an NSF grant for $582,899 for firefly luciferase research.

Branchini, a member of the faculty at Connecticut College since 1986, has been conducting bioluminescence research for 32 years. As director of the college´s Bioluminescence Research Group, Branchini has mentored and overseen the research activities of more than 85 undergraduate students.

About the Air Force Office of Scientific Research The mission of AFOSR is to discover science that affects the future of the United States Air Force. AFOSR invests in long-term, broad-based research into aerospace-related science and engineering, and forms relationships with other government agencies, industry communities and academic institutions. Approximately 230 academic institutions receive grants from AFOSR.

About Connecticut College Situated on the coast of southern New England, Connecticut College is a highly selective private liberal arts college with 1900 students from all across the country and throughout the world. On the college´s 750-acre arboretum campus overlooking Long Island Sound, students and faculty create a vibrant social, cultural and intellectual community enriched by diverse perspectives. The college, founded in 1911, is known for its unique combination of interdisciplinary studies, international programs, funded internships, student-faculty research and service learning. For more information, visit --CC--

July 12, 2010