New St. Mike’s scientific imaging lab opens Jan. 16

January 11, 2017

An opening reception for a new Scientific Imaging Facility in Saint Edmunds 301 at Saint Michael’s College will be Monday afternoon, January 16 at 1:30 p.m.

This suite features advanced state-of-the-art technology and is of special direct interest to the College’s biology, neuroscience, chemistry, environmental sciences, and physics students and faculty as Saint Michael’s continues a dramatic expansion in the last decade of mentored undergraduate research.

The suite contains 10 high-end computer work stations for 20 students. Each station operates scientific imaging and evaluation programs that students can use for study and research purposes. The suite also will house the Zeiss Axiolmager, which is a state-of-the-art microscope with digital image processing abilities, differential interference contrast and fluorescent capabilities.

Funds for the new facility’s equipment came from the George I. Alden Trust, a Massachusetts-based private foundation that the College has tapped for significant funding over many years for different projects. The Trust was established in 1912 for philanthropic work focusing on education in the Northeastern states. Alden was a prominent teacher and figure from the times of the Industrial Revolution.

Angela Irvine, the College’s director of Foundation Relations and Sponsored Programs, explained that in the competitive grant process for funds to purchase new equipment, “They look at how we stewarded funding they’d given us in the past,” and seemed impressed by the College’s case that a relatively new and expanding neuroscience program and booming numbers of science students created a real and immediate need for such equipment.

Christina Chant of the chemistry faculty and Ruth Fabian-Fine of the biology faculty are supervising the new lab, and will be training anybody interested in using it. They will be present at Monday’s reception, as will other members of the community who assisted in setting up the facility.

Fabian-Fine made special mention of assistance and support from the Information Technology staff including leadership from Joann Trottier and Susan Breeyear, Erik Lightbody and William Keys; Joel Ribout, Jim Farrington and the crew from the Facilities Office, including Michael Estey and Henry Comtois; and on the academic side, Vice President of Academic Affairs Karen Talentino and Biology Department Chair Declan McCabe. Irvine’s role also was key, Fabian-Fine said.

Furniture for the suite was paid for by the Green-Bean Fund, named for beloved former biology faculty members Doug Green and Dan Bean. The College also contributed to funding the project. Sign-ups by trained individuals to use the lab also can be done via the Saint Michael’s website portal.

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