Saint Xavier University purchases genetic analyzer
Alumni donations and grant bring cutting-edge research opportunities
Chicago (March 7, 2007) – Saint Xavier University students now have even greater opportunities to participate in cutting-edge scientific research thanks to the purchase of a new genetic analyzer by the school’s biological sciences department.
The department recently purchased the Beckman Coulter CEQ8000 Genetic Analyzer for $100,000 through a combination of alumni donations and a challenge grant from the manufacturer.
“Such state-of-the-art equipment is typically reserved for professional researchers and graduate assistants at large research universities,” said John Jones, Ph.D., professor of biology at Saint Xavier and author of the grant proposal for the genetic analyzer. “Thanks to the generosity of our alumni and friends, Saint Xavier University students can have hands-on experience conducting genetic research as part of their undergraduate experience. This can only enhance their opportunities in the scientific field after they leave Saint Xavier.”
The machine allows for high-speed analysis of genes, including gene sequencing, mutation detection and DNA fingerprinting. “These techniques are used heavily in biological and medical research, clinical diagnostics and forensics,” Jones said. “Saint Xavier students will now have this experience prior to entering graduate programs or the workforce.”
Jones said initial uses for the genetic analyzer will include analysis of genetic differences between microbes and detection of DNA mutations in microbiology and genetics courses, respectively. The CEQ8000 will also be used to support current undergraduate research projects in microbiology and environmental toxicology. The availability of this technology could also help strengthen ties with the John G. Shedd Aquarium and Brookfield Zoo.
“This is a real-world tool that will enhance recruitment as well as the understanding of a burgeoning scientific field for our students,” Jones said.
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Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1846, Saint Xavier University was the first Mercy college in the United States and is Chicago’s oldest Catholic university. Serving approximately 5,700 students at its campuses in Chicago, Orland Park and its Loop location, the University offers 35 undergraduate majors; more than 40 graduate program options in arts and sciences, business, education and nursing; and a variety of program options in continuing and professional studies. Recognizing Saint Xavier’s excellence in education, U.S. News and World Report has ranked SXU consistently among the Best Colleges in the Midwest.
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