|Students and professor put Kresge grant to use
RELEASED: Dec. 16, 2004
DANVILLE, KYOne Centre professor's photo album looks "a little different." Dr. Steve Asmus, Dowling Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Centre, takes pictures of microscopic objects that most of us will never see.
Asmus conducts research in cell biology and does his photography with a microscope. The pictures he takes are called photomicrographs.
Thanks to the Kresge Foundation Science Initiative challenge grant of $500,000 used to upgrade and endow science equipment, Asmus and his students have new tools for their research. Centre now owns a Zeiss fluorescence microscope coupled with a Zeiss digital camera. The equipment is software-driven, so the image under the microscope can be seen live on a computer.
"It's digital, so it's easy to teach students to use it in the lab," says Asmus. Students often use the microscope in lab and turn in their photomicrographs digitally. The software and digital camera make the process much simpler.
Ryan Steed, a senior biochemistry and molecular biology major from Ashland, Ky., says the equipment is essential to his research.
"I'm fortunate to have access to such hightech equipment as an undergraduate at a small liberal arts college," he says. "The new fluorescence microscope and digital camera are essential for my John C. Young research on neurotransmitters in the brains of developing rats. Having and using the fluorescence microscope allows me to carry out my research using resources comparable to those of a large university lab. In addition, other students and I have had the opportunity to learn science in our lab classes using other expensive, high-tech equipment funded by the Kresge grant. Thanks to the Kresge grant, students of the sciences at Centre College can get Centre's quality education without forfeiting the ability to learn science on state-of-the-art equipment."
The John C. Young program at Centre is a year-long research honors experience for seniors.
Shown with this story are several photos that Asmus and his students have taken.
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