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Queens Chronicle

Queens College lab gets $2M grant

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Posted: Friday, July 18, 2014 1:50 pm | Updated: 2:00 pm, Fri Jul 18, 2014.

Aspiring scientists at Queens College just got a big boost.

At a press conference Thursday in Ira Remsen Hall at the college’s Flushing campus, Interim President Evangelos Gizis announced that state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) secured a $2 million funding allocation for a much-needed renovation to a teaching laboratory on the hall’s ground floor.

The grant would upgrade facilities and add more space future professors could customize to their needs. 

The lab was built in 1949 as a teaching lab for physical chemistry. Benches, tabletops, and supply lines for gas and water are original and not suited for current research, Dr. Robert Engel, Interim Dean of Mathematics & Natural Sciences, explained. There have been few upgrades over the years, including metal cabinets and a new floor.

The lab is currently used by electrochemistry Professor Michael Mirkin, who has a sizeable group of researchers who are “making due,” Engel said. The upgrade would not only modernize equipment, but also add more space.

“If we have more space, we can actually introduce more experiments,” Dibyendu Dana, who recently received his PhD in organic chemistry, said. “That way, the student gets better trained. With this, we would be really able to push the research and let the undergrads really learn the techniques.”  

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