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Cedar Crest College Awarded Significant Grant from the National Science Foundation
Date:11/21/2013

Allentown, PA (PRWEB) November 22, 2013

The National Science Foundation awarded a $186,032 grant to Cedar Crest College that will give biology students the opportunity to work with top-of-the-line instrumentation, providing a competitive edge in the marketplace post-graduation. Associate Professor and Director of the Genetic Engineering Program, K. Joy Karnas, Ph.D., and Associate Professor and Director of the Neuroscience Program, Audrey Ettinger, Ph.D., submitted the proposal to provide their students access to the latest experimental technology and to increase opportunities to collaborate with neighboring colleges and universities in the Lehigh Valley and beyond. This is the first grant that Karnas and Ettinger have received from the National Science Foundation.

While much of the grant was used to purchase new instrumentation, the remaining funds will go toward student research. Karnas said that Cedar Crest is unique in that it provides research opportunities for students as early as their freshman year. With this new technology, she said that those opportunities will only increase and better prepare Neuroscience and Genetic Engineering majors for graduate school and their careers.

“Small schools, such as Cedar Crest, don’t usually have this type of instrumentation. At larger universities where they do have these sorts of technologies, they don’t always allow undergraduates to use expensive scientific equipment,” said Karnas. “Those schools focus on graduate students, while we focus on the undergraduates. They’re the ones using the equipment to conduct experiments. We don’t let them simply sit on the sidelines and watch.”

In August, representatives from Nanion Technologies installed the Port-a-Patch, a miniaturized patch clamp system that generates cell physiology data quickly and easily. Cedar Crest students will waste no time in utilizing this new technology, as Karnas and Ettinger already have spec
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