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WIU Grants Grant to Purchase Mass Spectrometer – Western Illinois University News

WIU granted Grant to Purchase Mass Spectrometer

August 13, 2018


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MACOMB, IL – For the second time in the past 10 months, Western Illinois University has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to increase laboratory capabilities for students of all academic specialties.</p><p> On July 30, the University received a grant of nearly $ 300,000 to purchase a liquid chromatography mass spectrometer to benefit academic research and educational programs in the main areas, including forensic chemistry, chemistry, biology and agriculture. . The grant application was made in collaboration with professors from Monmouth College, Quincy University, Bradley University and Illinois College, and students from those schools will have access to the mass spectrometer for their academic work and research.</p><p> The instrument will be housed in Currens Hall, room 311, under the direction of the adjunct WIU professor of forensic chemistry Liguo Song. In addition, the Western Illinois Mass Spectrometer Center will be created to coordinate training sessions, research activities, practical laboratory experiments, summer workshops, outreach activities and dissemination of research results.</p><p> "The mass spectrometer weighs molecules and helps us identify them by weight," Song said. "We are excited about this award because it recognizes our research capabilities and the importance of new equipment for our programs." The mass spectrometer is recognized by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) and the American Chemical Society (ACS) as an element essential instrument to achieve accreditation. "</p><p> The University previously had a low-resolution mass spectrometer; however, it was considered irreparable in 2015. The new machine is a high resolution version with the capacity of tandem mass spectrometry, which will help achieve more detailed and accurate results.</p><p> Before the award of the scholarship, the teachers and students of WIU who needed the help of the mass spectrometer had to travel to other universities to complete their test.</p><p> "This will have an impact on the entire western region of Illinois, not just WIU," Song said. "It will also have broader research implications in the collaborations we have with organizations like the Illinois State Police and the Illinois Soybean Association."</p><p> Now that the three-year award has been announced, Song said that the University will look for offers for the purchase of the machine. He expects the machine to arrive on campus during the spring break of 2019.</p><p> "Then we will have all summer to work with him," he said. "This is very useful for our teachers and students and for the teachers and students of our partner institutions, it was really a team effort with the university, the department and the other universities."</p><p> Song anticipates that 16 teachers and their students will use the mass spectrometer in their research. The main program to use the instrument is the BS Forensic Chemistry Program at WIU. The team will provide students with an improved ability to analyze physical evidence, such as illicit drugs, toxicological samples and accelerators in fire investigations.</p><p> The addition of equipment also complies with the strategic plan of WIU, which is committed to research and academic / creative activities, involving students and teachers. It will also help with the scope of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in the region to attract students to WIU and interest younger generations in science.</p><p> In September 2017, WIU received a $ 330,000 NSF grant to purchase a scanning electron microscope for the campus. The microscope is also being installed in Currens Hall and w. will present new opportunities for WIU teachers and students.</p><p> For more information about Western's academic programming, visit wiu.edu/academics.</p><p>
<strong> Published by: </strong> Jodi Pospeschil (JK-Pospeschil@wiu.edu) <br
/> Office of University Relations</p><p><br
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