Oct 17, 2018 | Dana Waller Written by Alabama State University Media Relations Specialist Hazel Scott One of Alabama State University’s nationally acclaimed research scientists has been awarded a three-year, $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Excellence in Research program to conduct tissue regeneration research to help wound victims. Associate ASU professor of biology Dr. Komal Vig was awarded the grant that is titled “Excellence in Research: Skin Tissue Regeneration Using Smart Scaffolds.” She said it will lead to innovative strategies to regenerate tissues after damage, which can help in wound healing. “The grant will train both undergraduate and graduate students in the field of biomedical engineering,” Vig said. The grant period is from Oct. 2018 to Sept 2021. She said the need is great for specialized skin tissues that can be used for wound healing and for replacement of skin damaged due to disease (e.g., diabetes caused ulcers) or injury (e.g. burns). “Though bioengineered skin research has been very active for over 40 years, available commercial products are still subject to rejection, infection, scarring, lack vascularization (blood vessels) and do not match the texture or color of the surrounding skin,” Vig said. “The goal of this research is to address these limitations by developing a fully functional skin with minimal or no graft rejection, with wound healing capabilities, and that is individualized to match the texture, color and vascularization of the host tissue.” The Excellence in Research program is a new track program funded through the NSF and is designed to strengthen the research and education capacities of HBCU's. This is the first Excellence in Research grant awarded to ASU.