NASA-Tennessee State University
Research Symposium
March 23, 2001
Nashville, Tennessee
Above Left: TSU Network Resources and Training Site Logo

Above Right: Ms. Traveous Johnson, Dr. Hirendranath Banergee, and Shaleka Eley
TSU Seminar

Students and faculty from Elizabeth City State University recently participated in the NASA/TSU Research symposium at Nashville, Tennessee. Mr. Zack Hawkins, Ms. Trevious Johnson, and Dr. Hirenda Banerjee participated in the one day conference held at downtown Sheraton, Nashville on 3-23-01.

The ECSU students participated in the seminar and presented an abstract entitled "Identification of a Mouse Orthologue of the CED-6 gene of Caenorhabditis elegans". The seminar gave the students an opportunity to interact with other students and faculty along with learning of NASA's missions for space research in the twenty-first century. The faculty at Tennessee State University and NASA's representative were very impressed with the work presented by the ECSU students and they have decided to set up an Astrobiology center for NASA at ECSU which will be part of a consortium with the other Universities.
ECSU Research Abstract


H. Banerjee, Z. Hawkins, T. Johnson, S. Eley, S. AliKhan and R. Blackmon. Department of Biology, Elizabeth City State University, Elizabeth City, NC 27909

The rapid engulfment of apoptotic cells is a specialized innate immune response used by organisms to remove apoptotic cells. In mammals, several receptors that recognize apoptotic cells have been identified; Previous analysis of the engulfment gene ced-6 in Caenorhabditis elegans(C. elegans) has suggested that CED-6 is an adaptor protein that particpates in signal transduction pathway that mediates the specific reconition and engulfment of apoptotic cells. Here, we describe our isolation and partial characterization of a mouse cDNA which is like an orthologue of C. elegans CED-6. PCR screening of mouse cDNA pool with primers designed from the C. elegans CED6 CNDA sequence resulted in about 300 base pair PCR product which when partially sequenced and compared by BLAST search showed strong homology to mouse apoptosis gene CAS. Thus in this study we report the identification of a novel C. elegans CED6 like ortholouge in mouse which has probable apoptotic like function.
TSU COE Mission Statement

The mission of the Center of Excellence in Information Systems is to provide an environment conducive to and facilities in support of interdisciplinary research in selected areas of information systems.

Dr. Willard Smith serves as principal investigator for the TSU Network Resources and Training Site.

TSU NRTS Project Purpose

The TSU NRTS was established to substantially increase the use of the Internet and its resources by faculty and students. The establishment of the NRTS was made possible with a grant from NASA funded through the Minority University - Space Interdisciplinary Network (MU-SPIN) from funding provided by the Minority University Research and Education Program(MUREP). The main object of the program is to transfer computer network technology and promote its use in support of collaborative interdisciplinary, scientific research among faculty and students, and other scientists and to use the Internet to enhance the education on the campuses served by the grant. The major objectives of the program are:
  • Provide HBCU/OMU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Other Minority Universities) institutions with the expertise and funding assistance necessary to establish local and wide area network connectivity and other services in support of campus based networks.
  • Provide User Support Services to enhance the campuses capability to manage and use the network and its resources effectively and develop the campus expertise to support the long term use of the network facilities .
  • Provide activities that will accelerate the development of MU-SPIN faculty and student expertise in network technology and its application to support information exchange between NASA and the MU-SPIN community.
  • Provide a mechanism for integrating HBCUs and OMUs into scientific and technical programs sponsored and/or supported by NASA into mainline education and research activities. Establish a MU-SPIN Users Working Group as a vehicle for exchanging scientific and technical information between NASA and the MU-SPIN community
The MU-SPIN Program offers many valuable needed services to the university community. These services include hands-on training to faculty and students in scientific network applications and in accessing resources available over the Internet, a worldwide network of networks; hands-on training to technical staff in local area and campus network installation, management and user support; and technical sessions as well as annual conferences.
Related Links
Return to NRTS