Furman Awarded Grant For Breakthroughs

Acquisition of a Laser-Based Biomolecular Imager

Patrick Gentry
August 20, 2018 - 3:06 pm
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Furman University has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) grant for the acquisition of a biomolecular fluorescence visualization tool, which will aid the departments of biology and chemistry in studying DNA, proteins and other biomolecules.

The $156,858 grant was awarded based on the proposal “MRI: Acquisition of a Laser-Based Biomolecular Imager” by principal investigator and Furman chemistry professor Karen Buchmueller. Co-investigators for the project are Adi Dubash, a Furman biology professor, and John Wheeler, Furman chemistry professor and Associate Provost for Integrative Science.

Furman’s research efforts are leveraged by existing programs in chemistry (NSF's Research Experiences for Undergraduates, REU) and Integrative Research in the Sciences (NIH's IDeA Networks in Biomedical Research Excellence, INBRE). As such, other researchers and educators outside of Furman will gain from the technology. Said Buchmueller, “The new imaging system will impact at least six faculty members and 35 undergraduates each year, including research experiences for South Carolina high school teachers and students as well as visiting students from other regional universities.”

Furman faculty and students are engaged in a wide range of research projects that will benefit from the enhanced capability afforded by the biomolecular imager, from improved biophysical characterization of proteins that bind to DNA including the understanding and development of potential cancer therapies – to studying the fundamental mechanisms of cell migration.

Said Wheeler, “Furman’s biology and chemistry faculty are committed to establishing strong undergraduate research programs that support scientific exposures and career preparation for the next generations of scientists, consistent with the vision of The Furman Advantage. The new laser-based imaging system is an important tool that will assist in making these opportunities available at the highest level by improving the efficiency, sensitivity, quality and flexibility of our analysis of protein and DNA.”

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