Gift by Biology alum funds new imaging system
Student and faculty research projects in Jewett Hall biology classes are being greatly enhanced by the gift of a new Syngene gel documentation system, thanks to a donation by Dr. Christopher Mirabelli, '77, who has held senior research and development positions in the pharmaceutical industry.
The Syngene imager, consisting of a high-sensitivity, low-light digital camera, a light-tight chamber and desktop computer, is used to photograph DNA and protein samples. It enables students and faculty to conduct a far wider range of experiments and subsequent analysis, said Dr. Scott Ferguson, assistant professor of Biology.
This “state-of-the-art” equipment, valued at $20,000, is being used by undergraduate students in genetics labs and molecular genetics classes, as well as by Biology department faculty members that include Drs. Wayne Yunghans, Ted Lee and Ferguson.
“This will enable us to perform experiments that previously we were unable to do. The sensitivity and quantitative capabilities of this instrument are a major step up for the department,” Ferguson noted. It replaced an earlier, more rudimentary instrument that was no longer functioning.
Dr. Mirabelli, who earned his doctorate in Molecular Pharmacology at Baylor College of Medicine, is managing director of HealthCare Ventures LLC and chairman and interim CEO of Proteostasis Therapeutics, Inc. He was a founder of Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he worked in research and development, and was also a member of SmithKline and French Laboratories R&D Division.
A 1977 graduate, Dr. Mirabelli is also a member of SUNY Fredonia’s Natural Sciences Advisory Council that is offering design input for the new Science and Technology Center. While on campus in October to attend an advisory council meeting, Dr. Mirabelli had the opportunity to see the new imager and discuss its uses with Biology Department faculty.
Article taken from Campus Report