Biology Gets $666,812 NSF Grant for Cell, Molecular Biology Facility

By Purnell T. Cropper | September 21, 2010

The Arcadia University Biology Department has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant totaling $666,812 for “Renovation of the Arcadia University Cell and Molecular Biology Core Facility.”

Renovations to the cell, molecular and developmental biology research laboratories will allow enhanced training of undergraduate students in cell, molecular, and developmental biology as well as additional faculty research and faculty-mentored student research projects.

“This grant will enable us to increase the number of students completing original faculty-mentored research projects,” says Dr. Steve O. Michael, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “The result will be more students presenting at local meetings such as Sigma Xi and more student co-authorship on faculty presentations and publications.”

The project is under the direction of Dr. Lauretta M. Bushar, Professor and Chair of Biology; Edward G. Orner, Aramark Facilities; Dr. Naomi Phillips, Assistant Professor of Biology; Dr. Sheryl T. Smith, Assistant Professor of Biology; and Dr. Wesley Rose, Assistant Professor of Biology. The award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) (Public Law 111-5).

“Special thanks are due for the support rendered by Hal Lictman, GLP Architects, and Chris Chapman, President of Delran Builders, who both contributed the technical construction, engineering and design specifications necessary to qualify for the grant,” adds Tom Macchi, Associate Vice President for Facilities and Capital Planning.

With the grant, faculty research capabilities will be expanded in the cell and molecular techniques of DNA sequencing, fragment (microsatellite) analysis, construction and screening of genomic libraries, processing and biochemical analysis of whole cell lysates (including immunoblot analysis), protein expression and purification, immunohistochemistry, Chromatin Immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assays (EMSAs).

Faculty research will be expanded in the areas of population genetics of snake species, systematics of brown algae, heterokont phylogenomics population genetics of marine and terrestrial organisms, neuronal cell biology and biochemistry, neuroimmunology, and transcription regulation.

Undergraduate research opportunities will be expanded in the areas of population genetics, systematics and phylogeneomics, cell biology and immunobiology, and transcription regulation.