By Catholic Review Staff
Two biology professors at Loyola University Maryland received a grant to purchase a laser scanning confocal microscope (LSCM), which allows researchers to image cells and tissues in 3D and follow molecule movement and change in real time.
The $273,698 grant was awarded to Associate Professor Rebecca Brogan and Assistant Professor Christopher Thompson from the Arlington, Va.-based National Science Foundation.
“It’s very uncommon for an undergraduate-focused university like Loyola to have a LSCM on campus,” Brogan said in an Aug. 2 statement from the university. “These are typically found only at Research I and Research II institutions, and can only be accessed by other faculty members through collaborative arrangements and for a few hundred dollars an hour.”
Faculty members from nearby colleges and universities, including Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, also plan to use the LSCM for research projects. The microscope can be used in a wide variety of fields, Thompson said.
Thompson plans to use the LSCM for his research on the impact of herbal medicines on cell function. Brogan studies the metabolic regulation of reproduction, and will consider the effects of diet on pre-ovulatory eggs. All faculty members planning to use the LSCM will involve undergraduate students in their research, Thompson said.
“By working in our labs, they’ll cultivate a competitive edge whether they’re thinking of going on to graduate or medical school, an academic career, or directly into the workforce,” Thompson said of students who will work with the LSCM, which is expected to be on campus by September.
This grant is the second the National Science Foundation has awarded to the Baltimore-based university this year. The other supports a professor’s work to develop course material for a class on the physics of medicine.
Copyright (c) Aug. 3, 2012 CatholicReview.org