Research activities serve to expand the existing body of knowledge, provide learning opportunities for graduate students, and find solutions for problems. The research mission in the University System is concentrated primarily in the four universities. Fort Valley State University has an agricultural research mission assigned to it as a result of its designation as an 1890 Land Grant Institution and operates an Agricultural Research Station at Fort Valley. Research programs carried out in the universities had a total extramural support in FY1996 of $360 million and are described below. Georgia Southern University and Valdosta State University have research missions focused on applied topics.


Georgia Tech is a major center for advanced technology in Georgia and the Southeast. The Institute conducts research of national significance, provides services and facilities to faculty, students, industry, and government agencies, and supports the economic and technological growth of the state. Research operations are carried out through a group of schools, centers, and laboratories, each performing research in a particular field of interest. Most of the research is supported by contracts with government organizations and private industry. A significant portion of the total research activity is within the broad fields of electronics, environmental science and technology, manufacturing, biotechnology, materials, microelectronics, transportation, and telecommunications. Signal processing, tribology, acoustics, fusion, combustion, rotary wing aircraft, and work on energy conservation and applications are also important areas, as are domestic and international economic development, computer technology and applications, mechanics, and the fields of biological, physical, chemical, material, earth, atmospheric, and social sciences. To assist with the State's economic development, Georgia Tech maintains field offices in Albany, Augusta, Brunswick, Carrollton, Columbus, Douglas, Dublin, Gainesville, Macon, Madison, Rome, Savannah and Warner Robins. Research is also being conducted at various sponsor locations throughout the nation and the world. Extramural support for FY1996 was $174 million.


Extramurally funded research programs are broadly based and are conducted in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Health Sciences, Public and Urban Affairs, Education, Law and in interdisciplinary research centers. Priority research areas include economic forecasting and policy, and environmental biology, language research, high resolution astronomy, molecular biology, biochemistry and biophysics. Research in hydrogeology and environmental biology is conducted by several academic departments and the Skidaway Institute at sites on the coast of Georgia as well as the land areas and rivers of north Georgia in cooperation with local, state, and federal agencies. The Economic Policy Center conducts research in the economy, governance, including regulation, and fiscal and social issues and is closely allied with the Economic Forecasting Center focusing on the status of local, state and national economies. The Language Research Center conducts research on Comparative Primate Cognition primarily on the representational and symbolic capacities of primates utilizing computerized systems. The Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy utilizes speckle interferometry techniques to resolve binary stars, and determine their orbits and other characteristics. The Laboratory for Microbial and Biochemical studies conducts research in the structure of genes and control of gene expression; neural and endocrine control of behavior; the design, synthesis and structure elucidation of biologically important molecules; and the biophysical chemistry of biomacromolecular processes. Extramural support for FY1996 was $32 million.


Extramurally funded research programs are disease oriented and are carried out in both basic and clinical disciplines in the five schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Allied Health Sciences and Graduate Studies. Institutes which focus on specific research disciplines are the Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics, the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center, the Georgia Institute of Human Nutrition, the Georgia Institute for Prevention of Human Disease and Accidents, and an Alzheimer Disease Basic and Clinical Research Center. A special initiative involves the research and development of telecommunications in health care delivery known as Telemedicine. A unique Animal Behavior Center has been established as part of the Alzheimer's program to develop and test new drugs and agents for improving memory. A specialized Heart Development Group carries out research on the origin and molecular biology of congenital heart defects. Significant priorities in research are genetics and molecular medicine, cardiovascular research, children's disease, aging, and health services research which includes minority and women's health. There is significant applied research with emphasis on the development of new intellectual properties, biotechnology and technology transfer. The latter is focused on economic growth of the state and involves consortia with other universities including the Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) and the Education and Research Development Association of Georgia Universities (ERDA). A special program in Biomedical and Bioengineering Research is partnered with the Georgia Institute of Technology. Research programs on campus include asthma, arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, childhood diseases, clinical pharmacology, diabetes, drug abuse, duodenal ulcers, epilepsy, genetic aspects of aging, geriatrics, glaucoma, hearing, wound healing, inborn errors of metabolism, infectious diseases, kidney, lung, mediators of inflammation, mental health, molecular biology, neurosciences, neuromuscular diseases, nutrition, organ transplantation, receptor pharmacology, reproductive endocrinology, stroke, toxicology of industrial pollutants, and vision. Research in dentistry includes materials research, fluoride, metabolism, bone transplantation, and rehabilitation including dental implants. Extramural support for FY1996 was $27 million.


The University of Georgia is both a land-grant and sea-grant college. All thirteen schools/colleges have extensive research programs. The following areas are representative of some of the recognized research strengths. Research in biology and chemistry is conducted in many colleges, departments, and multidisciplinary units, including the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, the Center for Metalloenzyme Studies, the Center for Plant Cellular and Molecular Biology, the Center for Biological Resource Recovery, and the Center for Computational Quantum Chemistry. Biotechnology research focuses on plant development and production, crop protection, forest science and applications, animal improvement and health, human health, and fermentation applications. Research in the College of Pharmacy focuses on the development of new drugs and toxicology. Agricultural research is conducted at the three major Georgia Agricultural Experiment Stations in Athens, Griffin, and Tifton, and five smaller stations in the state. Research emphasis is on environmentally sound and input-efficient production practices. The Veterinary Medicine Experiment Station and the Poultry Disease Research Center in Athens conduct research on disease problems of agricultural and companion animals. The Veterinary Diagnostic Assistance Laboratories have facilities in Athens and Tifton. Environmental and ecological research is a major emphasis across several colleges, with the recognized activities in the Institute of Ecology and the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. Marine research is concentrated at the Marine Institute of Sapelo Island, the Marine Extension Center at Brunswick, and the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. Research strengths in other areas are highlighted in the Institute for Behavioral Research, the Center for East-West Trade Policy, the Humanities Center, the Center for Remote Sensing and Mapping Science, and the Center for Simulational Physics. Ongoing research in math, reading, and science education, as well as learning disorders, is conducted by faculty in the College of Education. Extramural support to The University of Georgia for FY1996 was $127 million.


Georgia Southern University focuses its applied research efforts on assisting south Georgia to meet regional development needs and to respond to emerging research and resource development opportunities. All six colleges--Arts & Sciences, Business Administration, Education, Graduate Studies, Health and Professional Studies, and Technology--play a role in these applied research efforts; as do the Institute for Arthropodology and Parasitology (IAP) and several interdisciplinary centers and bureaus. IAP, which houses the U.S. National Tick Collection, is doing research on Lyme Disease (including a collaborative epidemiological study with the Medical College of Georgia) and other arthropod- and parasite-vectored diseases. The Center for Rural Health and Research explores such issues as the maldistribution of health care providers, the AIDS-risk attitudes and behavior of migrant farm workers, and access to health care among minorities and the rural poor. The Bureau of Public Affairs, which operates the Rural Public Administration Network and the Bureau of Business Research and Economic Development, concentrates its applied research and technical assistance on regional planning and economic development issues. Laser-based research on the optical properties of inert gases and alkali vapors is an emerging strength of the Physics Department. The Geology Department in collaboration with the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography is conducting several research projects on coastal and marine resources and challenges. Initial findings from this department's analysis of a locally unearthed 40-million-year-old whale fossil suggest that the whale represents a new genus and species. The implications for evolutionary theory have drawn the attention of paleontologists across the globe. Additional strengths are found in ongoing work on rural atmospheric pollutants, coastal ecological challenges, control of insect pests, threats to the survival of loggerhead turtles and other endangered or threatened species, small business development and exporting opportunities, and the needs of the State's tourism industry. Extramural support for FY1996 was $5 million.


Valdosta State carries out research programs in conjunction with its mission as a regional university through the colleges of the Arts, Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Education, and Nursing. Research on environmental issues, including the environmental impact of industries in South Georgia, is conducted by several departments. The South Georgia Institute conducts research in business and industrial development and conducts economic forecasting and analysis for the region. A significant proportion of the total research conducted in education is in early childhood intervention, speech and language pathologies, and in teacher development. Extramural support for FY1996 was $4 million.

Source:Research Advisory Committee; Office of Associate Vice Chancellor of Planning and Policy Analysis

<< Previous Page ] [ Table of Contents ] [ Next Page >>