This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).
This Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) award funds the acquisition of a laser scanning confocal microscope with spectral detection at Colgate University. The confocal laser scanning microscope allows for rapid high-resolution three-dimensional reconstruction of specimens, recording of time-lapse movies, and quantitative information about the movement of proteins and cells. Spectral imaging allows tremendous flexibility in experimental design, as well as improving the ability to separate relevant signals from background noise. This microscope will be used for research by an interdisciplinary group of faculty in biology and psychology on projects that include investigation into development and regeneration of the retina, protein transport into the nucleus, immune responses to viral infection, function of serotonin in crayfish, larval development of annelid worms, and evolution of mate choice in flies. As Colgate University is an undergraduate institution, the acquisition of a confocal laser scanning microscope brings state-of-the-art imaging techniques to young scientists at the earliest stages in their career as they collaborate with the faculty members on research projects throughout the academic year and during summer research fellowships. This microscope will also be integrated into Colgate's undergraduate curriculum through laboratory investigations in cell biology, developmental biology, neuroscience, and insect biology courses. Additionally, the confocal microscope will be utilized in Colgate's "Science and Sports Camp" that serves regional and New York City high school students, including many from backgrounds underrepresented in the sciences. The acquisition of a confocal microscope thus augments the educational and research missions of Colgate University at multiple levels, and serves to enhance faculty research projects and provide new opportunities for students to visualize complex biological systems.