Hughes grant benefits labs
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has awarded the University a $1.6 million grant-the third such grant over the past eight years-to support undergraduate biology education.
The grant is one of 58 four-year grants the institute awards to colleges and universities in the United States to revitalize science education, bringing the total contribution to $91.1 million, said medical institute spokesman David Jarmul.
"We are delighted to be the recipients for the third consecutive cycle of HHMI funding for undergraduate education," said Jose Quintans, Professor in Pathology and Master of the Biological Sciences Collegiate Division.
"Thanks to the continuing support that these grants have given us, I believe the University has the best-equipped undergraduate biology teaching labs in the world."
"The support of undergraduate science education is one of the most important investments that we as a society can make in our future," said Jeffrey Leiden, Rawson Professor in Medicine and Pathology and Chief, Section of Cardiology, at the University.
"This generous grant from the HHMI will ensure that undergraduates at the University graduate with the scientific knowledge that they will need in the 21st century," he added.
The money will be used for faculty-mentored, summer research opportunities for students, laboratory equipment for non-biology majors and the expansion of outreach initiatives for teachers at Chicago elementary and secondary public schools. The grant will also be used for the development of new laboratory course sequences for non-majors in genetics, integrative biology and molecular environmental science.
"We are constantly upgrading our labs and curriculum, spending in excess of $200,000 each year to do so," said Quintans. "Non-majors currently have access to state-of-the-art equipment, such as fluorescence and Nomarski microscopes, tissue culture hoods, SGI computer work stations, and soon, a DNA sequencing machine."