Sewanee: The University of the South

NSF Grant Awarded to Chemistry and Biology Departments

April 20, 2010

Rob Bachman (L) and Deon Miles

The Chemistry and Biology Departments have been awarded a $350,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to support the purchase of a new mass spectrometry system via a special round of Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program made possible via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The grant, entitled “Acquisition of a High Performance Liquid Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry System,” was spearheaded by Deon Miles and Rob Bachman as co-principal investigators. Other faculty contributing to the proposal were John Shibata, Bethel Sharma and Rich Summers of the Chemistry Department and Nancy Berner of the Biology Department.

The faculty in both the Chemistry and Biology Departments maintain active research programs involving students of all levels of experience, including first year students. Given the power and versatility of the soon-to-be-acquired instrumentation, this award will positively impact the work of numerous faculty working in areas ranging from physiology to biochemistry to materials science. Of particular note is a new project led by John Shibata that will use this instrumentation for a collaborative environmental chemistry project involving both high school students and faculty at St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School. The new instrumentation will also be integrated into a variety of undergraduate courses via new laboratory experiences, providing students with access to cutting edge instrumentation early in their education as scientists.

Bachman says, “Access to appropriate instrumentation is crucial for both research and teaching in the sciences. Progress in research is increasingly dependent on instrumental data, and exposure of students to the latest instrumentation is vital to their preparation as scientists. Miles is to be congratulated for the strong leadership he has shown, and we hope this grant will pave the way for future instrumentation grants, allowing us to continue to enhance both research and teaching on campus.”

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