Rupa Iyer Named Program Director at NSF

Founding director of biotechnology programs and associate dean in the University of Houston College of Technology, Dr. Rupa Iyer, has been appointed program director for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Education and Human Resources (EHR) Directorate, which supports science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.  Iyer’s one-year position began in September 2017 at the NSF in Alexandria, VA and Washington, D.C metropolitan area.

A Grant of $2.1 Million Will Spread Innovative Program to Other Institutions

An innovative approach integrating classroom instruction and research at the University of Houston will be spread to five colleges and universities around the country with a $2.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The program incorporates an intense focus on undergraduate research and an understanding of industry needs with traditional academic instruction. It officially began with fewer than 10 students in 2009; it will have more than 600 students this fall. Students collect soil samples and process them for bacterial strains, logging the results on a map. So far, Iyer said, more than 60 bacterial strains have been identified from locations around Houston, including 12 never before identified; those are now part of a database compiled by the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Participating Institutions