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St. Lawrence News

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St. Lawrence University has received a federal grant of $179,336, awarded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Congressman Bill Owens announced the award, which will fund equipment upgrades in biology and computer science, is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

This project, entitled "MRI-R2: Acquisition of High Performance Computer and Microarray Scanner for Interdisciplinary Research in Computer Science and Biology at St. Lawrence University," is under the direction of Richard Sharp, mathematics, computer science and statistics; Ana Estevez, biology; Ed Harcourt, mathematics, computer science and statistics; Emily Dixon, biology; and Lorraine Olendzenski, biology.

Owens said, "St. Lawrence University leads the way in a wide array of disciplines and has served our community as an institution of higher education for over 150 years. This grant will help St. Lawrence continue in that tradition."

The grant funds the acquisition of a microarray scanner and a high-end server for interdisciplinary studies. Both of these instruments will be the first of their kind at the University. The grant enables the research programs of 12 faculty members in mathematics, computer science and statistics, biology and psychology. Programs included are image synthesis; comparative genome analysis in yeast; analysis of bacterial genomes; and gene expression studies. Findings from similar projects in the past have lead to breakthroughs in the medical field and scientific innovation.

"The national reputation of the St. Lawrence University faculty has been well earned owing largely to a special balance between theory and practice," Univeristy President William Fox said. "The scientific research of our professors is actually an integral part of their teaching and is shared directly with our students in courses and project collaborations. Acquiring new equipment, which we could not otherwise afford, makes an immense difference in the St. Lawrence commitment to the best and most effective teaching supported by frontline research."

The new equipment will also allow undergraduates to gain experience with key technologies, and the reach of the equipment is not limited to St. Lawrence. Two research projects at Clarkson University have been identified and will be a focal point for the Associated Colleges of the St. Lawrence Valley, an education consortium of St. Lawrence, Clarkson, SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton. The consortium was created to expand the number and variety of educational opportunities for faculty and students, to share resources and to innovate through joint action.

Science at St. Lawrence

Posted: April 29, 2010

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