August 29, 2015
College of Arts and Sciences dedicates new labs

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

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The College of Arts and Sciences celebrated Homecoming with not just one ribbon-cutting ceremony but five to mark the completion of new and upgraded research facilities funded by a $1.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

“To the labs, Igor” was the humorous theme for the ceremony, and a number of participants came dressed as creepy lab assistants who could have appeared in a Frankenstein movie. Dean of Architecture and Design Glen LeRoy came dressed as Frankenstein himself.

President Lewis Walker and Dean of Arts and Sciences Hsiao-Ping Moore cut the ribbon to officially open the new S308 lab. Assistant Professor Shannon Timmons and Provost Maria Vaz cut the ribbon for S303, and LeRoy assisted Assistant Professor Matt Cole in officially dedicating the cold room next door.

Campus Architect Joe Veryser, who coordinated much of the construction work, joined Assistant Professor Julie Zwiesler-Vollick in cutting the ribbon for S325, and Assistant Professor Jeff Morrissette was joined by Department of Natural Sciences Chair Tony Sky at S327.

The NSF grant of $1,342,276 funded new equipment, infrastructure improvements and construction for a molecular and cell biology research lab, a chemistry lab, an instrumentation room, a cold room, and a room for preparing testing materials and equipment. Lawrence Tech spent an additional $300,000 on other improvements in conjunction with the NSF grant.

Moore said the NSF grant confirms the strength of the life sciences programs and research at Lawrence Tech. Faculty members are already using the new facilities for research projects, including:

  • Moore is investigating the molecular mechanisms for lipolytic regulation in the heart.
  • Morrissette is utilizing animal models to investigate the anti-arrhythmic properties of hearts that tolerate extreme temperatures.
  • Zwiesler-Vollick is studying the roles of the SOS response and pH sensing pathways in controlling the virulence of apoplast-infecting pathogens.
  • Timmons is devising novel synthetic routes to facilitate the development and testing of new carbohydrate-based drugs.
  • Cole is investigating the mechanisms of alcohol dependence using a new behavioral assay.

The new research facilities provide more educational opportunities for undergraduates and also support expanded research training opportunities for high school students through the university’s participation in the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP) and its partnership with University High School in Ferndale.

The life sciences research laboratories will be used by faculty members and undergraduate students in six academic programs: biomedical engineering, chemical biology, chemistry, environmental chemistry, molecular and cell biology and psychology.

“This is a truly multidisciplinary project that also involves faculty members and students from the College of Engineering,” Moore said.



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Eric Pope, Editor
Marketing and Public Affairs
Buell Building M376