Ripon College receives $237,383 grant for science instrumentation

WilloughbyA $237,383 National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation Grant has been awarded to Ripon College to support the purchase of high-performance liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) instrumentation with accurate mass capabilities. The new instrumentation will greatly enhance the capability to perform research in organic synthesis and protein chemistry. Additionally, the capacity to perform biological and biochemical research at Ripon College will be significantly improved by gaining the ability to effectively study lipidomics.

Directing the project are Patrick Willoughby, assistant professor of chemistry; Colleen M. Byron, professor of chemistry and the L. Leone Oyster ’19 Chair in Chemistry; and Robert L. Wallace, professor of biology and the Patricia and Philip McCullough 1969 Professor in Biology.

“Students in chemistry and biology are frequently charged with the task of determining the identity of an unknown molecule,” Willoughby says. “The new instrumentation has several features that streamline unknown elucidation. Additionally, all newly prepared or discovered compounds must be fully characterized with high-resolution mass data before being published, and the new instrumentation is equipped with an accurate mass spectrometer capable of acquiring high-resolution mass data.

“Students in Quantitative Analysis and Organic Chemistry will be trained to use the instrument. Faculty and other students in the natural and physical sciences will be trained as needed to support their research projects. The instrument is equipped with a robot to automate sample injection, and up to 100 samples can be submitted to the queue. Our goal is to have the LC/MS be the most utilized instrument in the department.”

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