Purchase College has received a $378,489 grant from the National Science Foundation for the renovation of its biology research facility. The funding is provided through the Recovery Act and will be used to upgrade the molecular and cellular biology laboratory on the second floor of the Natural Sciences Building. The lab has not been upgraded since 1976, when the Natural Sciences Building was constructed.
The facility is a suite of three contiguous rooms, including an antiquated preparatory room. It is used for faculty research and undergraduate research and research training. The renovation will provide up-to-date laboratory equipment for the 180 undergraduate biology students and the faculty members who use the space for instruction and original research. All undergraduate students are required to carry eight credits including original research for their senior thesis. The upgraded facility, with enlarged space and new equipment, will result in an up-to-date research training environment for our science and pre-med students. The space is in constant use. Many students take independent research courses during the academic year and others do research in these labs over the summer.Faculty members will also be able to more efficiently perform collaborative student and faculty research in these spaces.
In addition, Community College students from area institutions also use this space. They attend Purchase for five weeks of intensive, independent research in molecular and cellular biology each summer. The program provides training and special mentoring for Community College students who plan to major in the sciences. Through the program, which includes faculty members from Purchase and the Community Colleges, these students have a seamless transition to four- year colleges.
The laboratory renovation will include the removal of walls, installation of new benches and computer hookups. The reconfiguration of the Cellular and Molecular Biology room will have eleven research stations and areas to properly hold all current research equipment. All the benches will be wired for networked computer workstations. Adding bench space will allow more individuals to work in the space at the same time rather than having to wait until bench space becomes available. The new spaces will create a scientific environment more conducive to research.
The design and construction of the project will be managed by Sean Connolly and Sayim Malik of the Capital Facilities Planning Office.