Molecular and cellular biology research lab suite will help meet needs of growing biotech community.
President Schwarz and Jim Daly, associate professor of biology, among others, helped unveil the newly renovated molecular and cellular biology research lab suite (BioLab Suite) at a launch on April 11, 2013.
The event was attended by leaders in the Westchester County biotech community, including George D. Yancopoulos, president and chief scientific officer of Regeneron Laboratories and Maria Verastegui, creative director of Acorda Therapeutics.
College officials as well as local dignitaries including Pat Keegan, district director, Congresswoman Nita Lowey's office, were also on hand to see the new facilities, which are designed to prepare students for success in the burgeoning biotech industry.
The renovation of the BioLab Suite was funded by a $378,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), awarded to Jim Daly, a Purchase College associate professor in Biology, and his colleagues. The NSF grant, along with funding from Purchase College, enabled the redesigning and rebuilding of the facilities into an integrated suite with new equipment that will foster collaborative student/faculty research.
"Many of the new medicine and cures coming down the pike are being done by biotech companies—and there is a thriving and growing biotech community right here in Westchester County," says Professor Daly. "This new BioLab Suite will enable us to prepare students to work in these companies locally or globally, so that they can have an impact in this exciting realm of scientific research."
According to Suzanne Kessler, vice provost for academic affairs and dean, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, "As science changes, educators need to change. This event is part of our ongoing initiative to work with leaders in the Westchester County biotech community to determine what skills they want students to acquire and provide them with the finest training in laboratory methods."
The Purchase College School of Natural and Social Sciences offers a B.A. and B.S. program in Biology. The faculty is currently developing a new concentration in biotechnology within this program.