Advancements in technology
(Excerpt from March 2011 Marquette Matters)
Federal stimulus funding has enabled Marquette researchers to purchase nearly $1.5 million (between four grants) in new equipment in the past 18 months.
“The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was a real boon to academic research,” said Kathy Durben, director of project planning and development in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. “There just haven’t been a lot of sources for equipment funding available nationally. Marquette faculty did a wonderful job of preparing applications quickly to benefit from the funding.”
Two of the four grants were from the National Science Foundation and were awarded to faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences — a $601,079 award for an X-ray diffractometer and a $286,777 award for a confocal microscope.
Faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences, the School of Dentistry and the Medical College of Wisconsin will benefit from the confocal microscope, which allows researchers to view tiny structures — in this case, cellular structures — that can lead to better understanding of diseases. “The microscope uses lasers of five different wavelengths to allow scientists to study structures at various depths within the cell, as opposed to a conventional microscope that looks at the cell surface,” said Dr. Bob Fitts, chair and professor of biological sciences. By labeling proteins with fluorescent probes, researchers can pinpoint their location and how they interact with other proteins, he said.
“Acquisitions such as these benefit the university by building the infrastructure for state-of-the-art student training and faculty and student research,” said Dr. Jeanne Hossenlopp, vice provost for research and dean of the Graduate School. “They are also important in recruiting students and faculty to Marquette by providing opportunities for engaged learning and facilities needed for cutting-edge research.”