Home >> Tracy Richmond McKnight, PhD, Awarded UC-HBCU Grant to Train African-American Students in Bioengineering
Tracy Richmond McKnight, PhD, Awarded UC-HBCU Grant to Train African-American Students in Bioengineering
July 7, 2011
The University of California-Historically Black Colleges and Universities Initiative (UC-HBCU) has awarded funding to Dr. Tracy Richmond McKnight for the UCSF-Tuskegee Summer Internship in Bioengineering. The grant of $22K will provide support for two students from Tuskegee University's School of Engineering and Physical Sciences to perform a summer of research in a UCSF Bioengineering laboratory. The grant will be administered through the Graduate Division and the interns will be incorporated into the highly-successful Summer Research Training Program (SRTP). This funding is significant in that of the ted highly competitive grants awarded, this is one of only two grants geared towards science.
Tracy Richmond McKnight, PhD, is an Associate Professor In-Residence at the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at UCSF. The McKnight Lab investigates the metabolic mechanisms associated with the malignant progression of brain tumors using biomedical imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS). Dr. McKnight received her undergraduate training in Physics at Spelman College, an HBCU located in Atlanta, Georgia. After completing a Master's degree in Physics at Polytechnic University, Dr. McKnight worked as a Research Associate at another HBCU, Howard University in Washington, DC. It was at Howard that she had her first experience with laboratory research and was exposed to the then-fledgling field of Bioengineering. With the support of her Howard University mentor, Dr. Ernest Carter, Dr. McKnight entered a doctoral program in Bioengineering at the University of California, Davis. Her thesis work in the laboratory of Dr. Fitz-Roy Curry utilized confocal fluorescence microscopy to study the microcirculation in situ. Upon completing her PhD, she continued her research in biomedical imaging as a postdoctoral fellow at UCSF in the laboratory of Dr. Sarah Nelson, shifting her focus from microscopy to MRI. The strong mentorship, research experience, and exposure to biomedical applications of physics and engineering disciplines that Dr. McKnight received at the HBCU and UC institutions had a profound impact on her career path and provided the impetus for this grant. It is her expectation that the UCSF-Tuskegee Summer Internship in Bioengineering will have a similar impact on the interns and will forge an on-going relationship between UCSF and Tuskegee University.