SIGNIFICANT EQUIPMENT INVESTMENT BOOSTS PURDUE’S RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE

Jerry Hirschinger

Jerry Hirschinger, instrumentation specialist for the Purdue Interdepartmental NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) Facility, stands in front of one of the three NMR magnets in Brown Laboratory of Chemistry. A 20-year-old 400 MHz NMR spectrometer will be upgraded to current hardware, software, and accessory specifications. (Purdue University photo/Brooklyn Gingerich)

JULY-AUGUST 2017 |

The Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships (EVPRP) is acquiring major multi-user scientific instruments to accelerate research projects across the West Lafayette campus. The projects were made possible by support from the Office of the President and approved for funding in the 2017 spring semester. The investment was enabled by record research expenditures in fiscal year 2016 of over $622 million and recognizes and further supports faculty successes in research as well as their efforts to compete for sponsored research awards.

Imaging technologies
Several instruments will enhance Purdue’s capabilities in micron- and sub-micron-resolution imaging technologies:

  • A high-resolution micro-CT instrument for in vivo imaging will be housed in the Bindley Bioscience Imaging Facility.
  • Two scanning electron microscopes will support projects in a variety of engineering, physical science and life science disciplines.
  • A 3-D X-ray microscope will establish a new capability at Purdue and in the state for studies of the internal structures and properties of physical and biological objects and materials.

Measurement technologies
Additional instruments will be acquired for measurement of molecular or particulate structures and properties:

  • A next-generation high-throughput DNA sequencer will be added to the Purdue Genomics Core Facility and will expedite scores of projects across the life sciences.
  • Purdue’s capabilities for quantitative multi-elemental analyses will be enhanced by the deployment of a new high-resolution inductively coupled argon plasma mass spectrometer in the Campus-Wide Mass Spectrometry facility.
  • A small angle/wide angle X-ray scattering instrument will be established in the MSE X-Ray Diffraction Laboratory.
  • A 20-year-old 400 MHz NMR spectrometer in the Purdue Interdepartmental Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility will be upgraded to current hardware, software, and accessory specifications.

Based on the recommendation of a campus-wide advisory committee, the office of the EVPRP supported the acquisition of three walk-up mass spectrometers to be placed in Medicinal Chemistry, Chemistry, and Drug Discovery shared-use facilities, and, in partnership with ITaP, purchased several nodes on the Halstead community computing cluster that will be made available for limited-term use through a competitive program. Four colleges, four departments, three centers or institutes, five faculty members, and the EVPRP partnered to fund a cryo transmission electron microscope as an upgrade and replacement for a 23-year old instrument in the Purdue Cryo Electron Microscopy Facility in Hockmeyer Hall.

Building together on success
The targets for this strategic and practically important investment were selected in partnership with the colleges, and colleges, schools, departments, and faculty provided matching funds.

The investments in research infrastructure augment the more than two dozen instrumentation projects funded this year through the standing EVPRP Laboratory and University Core Facility Research Equipment Program and the Provost’s Major Scientific Equipment Program. They complement investments made in the prior year by EVPRP in collaboration with academic units and research centers. For example, a state-of-the-art, high-performance vector electron-beam nanolithography system has significantly enhanced the capabilities of the Birck Nanotechnology Center, and two mass spectrometers are expediting research projects utilizing the Metabolite Profiling and Proteomics facilities in the Bindley Bioscience Center.

“As a world-class research university, Purdue strives to enable the success of its faculty, staff, and student researchers by providing the instruments and facilities they need to extend the boundaries of knowledge and translate that knowledge into practical public benefits,” Suresh Garimella, executive vice president for research and partnerships and the Goodson Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering. “It is especially gratifying to recognize the success of the faculty through major investments in the tools that will drive future success.”