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Biology department gets $385,000 for microscopes

March 5, 1997

By Jeff Talbert

Lariat Reporter

Biology graduate student Rusty Branch knows the more skills he can put on his resume, the more likely his chances of getting a good job.

Because of a $385,000 grant awarded to the biology department from the W.M. Keck Foundation, the department will be able to purchase a scanning electron microscope and a transmission electron microscope for students to acquire these skills.

Branch said it will be a great benefit to be able to operate the electron microscopes, not only for more job opportunities, but for financial reasons.

'I just published a paper,' Branch said. 'My co-author had to spend a week at Texas Tech to use theirs. That gets expensive.'

Dr. Keith Hartberg, biology department chairman, said the new equipment will encourage additional research.

'This grant provides us some state-of-the-art equipment that gives us research capabilities we did not have before,' Hartberg said.

Dr. Ann Rushing, associate professor of biology, said the new scanning microscopes will allow her to develop a new course--an additional electron microscopy course besides the one she already teaches.

The biology department is not the only department that will benefit from the electron microscopes. Rushing said the new equipment would support various departments from family and consumer sciences to anthropology.

Rushing said she hopes the microscopes will be installed by the end of the summer.

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