A $129,700 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will support the work of researchers at St. Mary’s University.

Principal investigator S. Colette Daubner, Ph.D., Professor of Biological Sciences, along Ahmad Galaleldeen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences; Dmitriy Khon, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry; Susan Oxley, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemistry; and Jose R. Tormos Melendez, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Chemistry, will use the award to purchase a state-of-the-art Horiba Fluorolog 322 fluorometer for the School of Science, Engineering and Technology.

A fluorometer is an optical device used to measure the intensity and wavelength distribution of fluorescence, the emission of electromagnetic radiation by a substance. Because the study of fluorometry has versatile applications, the device will enable researchers from multiple fields to investigate a broad range of topics, from water contamination studies to the metabolism functions of living cells.

In addition to bolstering faculty research, the fluorometer will provide valuable research experience to undergraduate science majors.

“It is profoundly meaningful that the NSF, by awarding this grant, acknowledges St Mary’s as a research institution,” Daubner said. “Each researcher involved in this grant has students who will get hands-on experience with this instrument and a glimpse into how sophisticated physical instruments are used to collect data on a wide variety of topics.”

The grant was awarded as part of the NSF’s Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program, which seeks to increase the access of higher-education institutions to shared scientific and engineering instrumentation for research purposes and to improve the overall quality and scope of research.

Founded in 1950, the National Science Foundation supports research and education in all non-medical fields.

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