The Natural Science Department at DeSales University recently received a 2016 Pittsburgh Conference Memorial National College (PITTCON) Grant to partially support the purchase of a Horiba Fluoromax-4C Spectrofluorometer.
Some chemicals emit light after they absorb light; this process is called fluorescence. A spectrofluorometer is used to detect the light emitted by fluorescent chemicals.
“The addition of a spectrofluorometer will enable the addition of several unique laboratory experiments to courses required by the biochemistry-molecular biology and chemistry majors, enhancing the educational opportunities available to our students,” said Dr. Julie Himmelberger, assistant professor of biochemistry and chair of the Natural Science Department.
Thirteen colleges and universities from across the country were recipients of the PITTCON grant, which are awarded to college science departments for the purchase of scientific equipment, audio-visual or other teaching aids, and/or library materials for use in the teaching of science at the undergraduate level. Enrollment at schools that receive the grant cannot exceed 5,000 full-time students. Himmelberger and Dr. Sara Hayik, assistant professor of chemistry, submitted the grant application.
During the last 7 years, courses required for the biochemistry-molecular biology major have evolved in an attempt to meet the curriculum recommendations of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). The ASBMB recommended curriculum includes laboratory experiences with various types of spectroscopy including fluorescence. A spectrofluorometer will strengthen the physical biochemistry portion of the curriculum and expose students to the diverse applications for studying biochemical molecules and systems using fluorescence.
“This instrument will improve the laboratories that can be offered by the three chemistry, six biology, one physicist and one biochemistry-molecular biology faculty in the Natural Science Department allowing for better integration between these scientific disciplines and a well rounded experience for the natural science majors at DeSales University,” said Himmelberger
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