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Computer Science and Biology Programs awarded NSF grant to purchase High Performance Computer and Microarray Scanner

WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Bill Owens announced a federal grant award for St. Lawrence University to fund equipment upgrades for SLU's biology and computer science departments. The project, funded in the amount of $179,336, was awarded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

"I am pleased to announce this award," Owens said. "SLU leads the way in a wide array of disciplines and has served our community as an institution of higher education for over 150 years. This grant will help SLU continue in that tradition."

The grant funds the acquisition of a microarray scanner and a high-end server for interdisciplinary studies. Both of these instruments will be the first of their kind on the SLU campus. The grant enables the research programs of twelve faculty members from the departments of Computer Science, Biology, Statistics and Psychology. Programs included in the aim of this funding are image synthesis, comparative genome analysis in yeast, analysis of bacterial genomes, and gene expression studies. Findings from similar projects in the past have lead to breakthroughs in the medical field and scientific innovation.

"The national reputation of the St. Lawrence University faculty has been well earned owing largely to a special balance between theory and practice. The scientific research of our professors is actually an integral part of their teaching and is shared directly with our students in courses and project collaborations. Acquiring new equipment, which we could not otherwise afford, makes an immense difference in the St. Lawrence commitment to the best and most effective teaching supported by frontline research" Added William L. Fox, St. Lawrence University President.

The new equipment will allow undergraduates at SLU to gain experience with key technologies, and the reach of the equipment is not limited to SLU alone. Two research projects from neighboring Clarkson University have been identified and will be a focal point for The Associated Colleges of the St. Lawrence Valley, an education consortium between SLU, Clarkson, SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton. The consortium was created to expand the number and variety of educational opportunities for faculty and students, to share resources, and to innovate through joint action.