News and Notes

A Newsletter for Faculty and Staff of Idaho State University

October 4, 2010 — Vol. 26 No. 33

ISU to Get New Biochemistry Laboratory

Caryn Evilia

Idaho State University will boast a brand new biochemistry laboratory - to the benefit of students in a wide variety of disciplines - thanks to a $396,000 federal appropriation from the U.S. Health Resources Administration (HRSA).

"With this new biochemistry laboratory, we're moving from being behind other regional universities' quality of labs, to being equal to the best and better than most," said Robert Holman, ISU chemistry professor and one of the program directors/principal investigator of the project. "We will be greatly expanding the scope and scale of the instruments our students and faculty use, and we will have triple the laboratory space."

The new biochemistry laboratory is due to be finished in time for the fall 2011 semester. It is being moved from the basement of the Gale Life Science Building to the Physical Science Building.

"This new grant will allow us to replace virtually everything in the laboratory with new, modern equipment," said Caryn Evilia, and assistant professor of biology and chemistry, the program's other principal investigator. "We will have a whole suite of new instruments for our students to use. This will provide them with a better education, and make them even more competitive when they apply for graduate school, enter the workforce, go on to a medical, pharmacy or veterinarian school, or go on to do advanced research."

Biochemistry, besides being its own discipline, is a key component of a number of other disciplines, including microbiology, zoology, chemistry, pharmacy and other biological, health science majors and pre-majors.

Although the major thrust of the grant is to increase the quality of the biochemistry laboratory for educational purposes, there are secondary benefits.

"These new instruments and the laboratory will be available to researchers at Idaho State University, providing an additional benefit," Holman said.

The program's principal investigators and ISU administrators expressed their appreciation in receiving the grant.

"We are appreciative of the efforts of members of Idaho's Congressional delegation who saw the value of this laboratory and helped us acquire the instruments," said Pamela Crowell, Vice President for Research. "The Health Resources and Services Administration, by approving this equipment purchase, has greatly enhanced the health education mission of Idaho State University, and has bolstered the quality of many other academic disciplines that utilize the biochemistry laboratory."