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Oklahoma education news in brief

Oklahoma education news briefs for Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013.
From Staff Reports Published: December 29, 2013

Grant to aid geriatric nursing center

A $2.4 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation will be used to support the phase II operations of the Donald W. Reynolds Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center College of Nursing. OU College of Nursing Dean Lazelle Benefield said the new grant furthers the center's efforts to enhance the lives of older adults, while allowing for an additional $800,000 in Ph.D. student scholarships. The four-year grant is for operations from 2013-17. It is estimated that by 2030 almost 20 percent of the American population will be older than 65, creating a dire need for well-prepared nurses. However, many nursing colleges are unable to keep up with demand for new nurses because of a shortage of doctorally prepared faculty. Building on its first five years, the Reynolds Center's phase II objectives are to educate Ph.D. nurse faculty to support the training of new nurses on care of older adults; distribute shared-use geriatric educational materials throughout Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri as part of a collaboration with the OU Health Sciences Center's Heartland Telehealth Resource Network; and implement a new cross-campus community research and education partnership to promote interdisciplinary excellence in the science of aging in place.

OSU professor honored for physics contributions

Wouter Hoff, professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at Oklahoma State University, has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society. The distinction is limited to no more than 0.5 percent of the society's nearly 50,000 members and represents recognition by one's peers of outstanding contributions to physics. Hoff's election was based on his protein-folding experiments, which look at individual molecular paths in signaling proteins. When signaling pathways go awry a range of diseases can result, including cancer. The Hoff lab has started to explore biotechnological applications for these proteins. Their long-term goal is to uncover fundamental principles in these processes and develop biosensors with useful applications. Hoff, who joined the OSU faculty in 2005, earned his bachelor's and doctoral degrees from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. He completed postdoctoral programs at the University of Texas in Houston (biochemistry) and at Oklahoma State University (biophysics). In 1999, he received the Cancer Research Foundation's Young Investigator Award.

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