Merrimack College Officially Opens Shared Instrumentation and Research Facility

More than 100 people gathered to mark the opening of the state-of-the-art applied life sciences research space in Palmisano Hall.
Ribbon cutting at Shared Instrumentation & Research Facility.

The latest addition to Merrimack College’s growing research infrastructure was officially opened during a blessing event on Thursday, June 6, as the institution continues its rise toward becoming a national research university.

More than 100 people gathered in the Shared Instrumentation & Research Facility (SIRF) on the first floor of Palmisano Hall to celebrate the opening of the 7,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art space that will serve as a hub for applied life sciences research for not only the College, but also the Merrimack Valley.

“Across biology, health sciences, chemistry and biochemistry, the SIRF provides our faculty and students the resources and support to investigate, to collaborate and to discover,” said Merrimack College President Christopher E. Hopey, Ph.D. “Top research faculty will want to work here. Students will want to learn here. And external partners in government and industry will look to Merrimack College to help solve significant challenges.”

In addition to remarks from President Hopey and April Bowling, vice president for research, Massachusetts State Senator Barry Finegold, D-Andover, and Massachusetts State Rep. Tram Nguyen, D-Andover, read citations from the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives, respectively, to mark the occasion.

“It is amazing to have a facility like this in the Merrimack Valley,” said Nguyen. “We want to bring more research here and we want to develop here.”

The SIRF is a designated incubator that provides faculty and students the space and equipment to conduct tests, experiments and projects. Among the features of the space is its physical flexibility to support research across different disciplines. Lab spaces housed in the SIRF include a biotechnology lab, a molecular analysis lab and a plant culture lab. 

Some research faculty in the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Nursing and Health Sciences moved their work into the SIRF earlier this year, and were on hand at the event, along with student researchers, to showcase their work and the SIRF’s instrumentation.

“These researchers, as well as others, work closely with undergraduate and graduate students to advance scientific understanding of real-world problems that impact people and communities in the Merrimack Valley and beyond,” said Bowling.

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