Grant Will Enhance College’s Capacity in Life Sciences

Merrimack's School of Science and Engineering received a major boost this month with receipt of a $500,000 grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center to expand facilities and enhance educational programs in the life sciences.

The award will fund the purchase of three significant pieces of research equipment — a confocal imaging microscope, an ICP spectrophotometer and a bone densitometer — for use in a new interdisciplinary imaging and analytical science laboratory, to be housed in the Mendel Center and the new health sciences labs in O’Reilly Hall.

“Student and faculty researchers across a range of disciplines and fields will benefit from the new equipment,” Merrimack Provost Allan Weatherwax said. “Funding for the equipment will greatly expand the analytical foundation for Merrimack students in their preparation for careers in the life sciences, while leveraging the college’s capacity to cultivate new partnerships within the life sciences ecosystem of northeastern Massachusetts.”

The grant was Merrimack’s first from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, an investment agency that supports innovation, education, research and development, and commercialization in the life sciences. It was among $6 million in grants the agency presented to middle schools, high schools and colleges in the region during an April 10 ceremony in Cascia Hall.

“The support of Mass Life Sciences Center helps us ready today’s young women and men for the lives and the economy they will create tomorrow,” Merrimack President Christopher Hopey said. “They must be prepared to find and seize their opportunities while they work to solve the world’s great problems. They will cure disease, they will reverse climate change, they will explore galaxies and they will discover themselves.”

The grant application was developed by Weatherwax, Dean of Science and Engineering Cynthia McGowan and Director of Corporate and Foundation Development Kathleen Redmond. The college was initially notified of the award last December.


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