Rockefeller applauds federal research investment in WV - Business, Government Legal News from throughout WV

Rockefeller applauds federal research investment in WV

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Groundbreaking research and developing is happening on college campuses, in classroom and in labs throughout West Virginia, according to Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.

Rockefeller provided the keynote remarks at the West Virginia STaR Symposium and Academy of Science annual meeting Saturday. Rockefeller also welcomed Subra Suresh, director of the National Science Foundation to West Virginia.

"I firmly believe in the power of American ingenuity, and in our ability to conquer big problems," Rockefeller said. "Americans put a man on the moon and cured polio.

"We did it because of innovation, which always has and always will be America's global competitive advantage. We need to encourage that can-do spirit and continue to solve our toughest challenges."

Rockefeller cited examples of research work performed in West Virginia because of federal investments.

Rockefeller talked about Charleston native and West Virginia University graduate student Scott Cushing's work in nanoscience, which could aid in national defense. He also cited about Maura McLaughlin, an astrophysics professor at WVU, and her astrophysics research, which is part of an international effort to detect gravitational waves in space. Rockefeller also spoke of Brian Antonsen, a Marshall University biology professor whose research looks at how social experiences cause long-lasting changes in the circuits of the brain.

"National Science Foundation programs, most notably EPSCoR, make a real impact in West Virginia," he said. "I created the EPSCoR program because the projects are real, lasting and make a world of difference.

"Investments in scientific research encourage new generations of scientists, but they also lead to direct business spin-offs, economic growth and job creation."

The STaR Symposium is a biennial gathering of scientists, researchers, faculty members and students from throughout West Virginia. This year it was scheduled in conjunction with the 87th annual meeting of the West Virginia Academy of Science, and the event's theme was "Innovation: Concept to Commercialization."

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