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North Carolina A&T State University announced this week that seven faculty at the historically Black college and university (HBCU) are among the scientists whose publications are most often cited by other authors. Stanford University, together with publishing house Elsevier and SciTech Strategies, created the ranking of more than 150,000 scientists and researchers in the world.

Faculty at N.C. A&T are members of the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, the College of Engineering, and the College of Science and Technology. The researchers focus individually on topics ranging from health, food and nutrition innovation, and environmental waste cleanup and repurposing, and clean water.

Shengmin Sang, Ph.D., a 2018 HBCU Innovation Award winner at BEYA, is a research professor in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences’ Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies.

In addition to his recognition at BEYA, Dr. Sang has received many honors for his work in the food and nutrition sciences field. His previous work has yielded multiple patents, one of which is now commercially licensed.

This year, Sang, photographed in his laboratory, received a new three-year grant totaling nearly $500,000 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative to develop germinated and false-germinated oats as functional foods to prevent inflammation associated with chronic diseases. Sang studies bioactive compounds in whole grains, ginger, tea, apple, soy, and rosemary for the prevention of colon cancer, asthma, diabetes, diabetic complications, and obesity.

Yuh-Lang Lin, Ph.D., senior scientist/professor of physics

In 2020, North Carolina’s interior counties were flooded from the remnants of Hurricane Eta, while a coastal community was flooded from Hurricane Dorian in 2019. “My work on mesoscale dynamics and modeling are well received and quoted due to their help in understanding the dynamics and improving forecasting of severe local storms, tropical and extratropical cyclones, especially when they encountered orography,” Lin told N.C. A&T News.

Over the past 20 years, Manoj Jha, Ph.D., associate professor of civil, architectural, and environmental engineering, has solved water quality problems and designed ways to manage watersheds by developing and applying various tools and methods.

Narayan Bhattarai, Ph.D., professor of chemical, biological, and bioengineering, focuses on the design and development of health-care-biomaterials that mimic the nano- to micro-scale order found in nature. His team works with grants from the National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, and the National Institutes of Health NSF–partnerships that no doubt increase the awareness and value of his work.

“Our research group is teamed with talented researchers from basic science to engineering to address challenging issues in tissue engineering and disease models particularly cancer, and wound healing,” said Bhattarai.

Kunigal Shivakumar, Ph.D., a mechanical engineering professor, was featured in 2018 for his research into making useful materials out of harmful coal ash that was leeching into a local waterway.

“Although much of my research has been used in design guidelines and my research concepts have been used in industrial applications, I’m pushing for my work to be adapted to solve both environmental and clean water problems, as well as local manufacturing,” Shivakumar said.

The other N.C. A&T researchers are Yusuf Adewuyi, Ph.D., professor of chemical, biological, and bioengineering, and Lijun Wang, Ph.D., professor of natural resources and environmental design.

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