New lab for student research

EXCELLENCE+UNVEILED%E2%80%94Shimadzu+company+representatives+pose+with+NMU+President+Fritz+Erickson+and+Senior+chemistry+major+Josie+Mollohan+before+the+newly+unveiled+plaque+before+the+research+laboratory.

EXCELLENCE UNVEILED—Shimadzu company representatives pose with NMU President Fritz Erickson and Senior chemistry major Josie Mollohan before the newly unveiled plaque before the research laboratory.

Akasha Khalsa

July marked the beginning of a formal agreement between NMU and Shimadzu—a global corporation specializing in scientific instruments—to honor the company’s contributions to a new medicinal plant chemistry laboratory on campus. 

On Monday, Nov. 1, NMU dedicated the new laboratory as the Shimadzu Analytical Core Laboratory for Medicinal Plant Sciences, during a brief ceremony on the third floor of West Science. Refreshments were served for the approximately 60 guests, including students, Shimadzu business representatives, faculty and statewide media. 

The company teamed up with NMU through their Partnership for Academic, Research and Quality of Life (SPARQ) program, with the intention of sparking NMU’s medicinal plant chemistry program and bringing it to a new degree of prominence. Shimadzu made a donation of $850,920 to the NMU Foundation to equal the expenditure on the medicinal plant chemistry program’s new laboratory. 

“I’m very grateful for all the work that has gone into this…from the conceptualization of the idea of the medicinal plant program, to getting the program on its feet, to the idea of building some new lab space, and then the partnerships that have gone on,” Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Rob Winn said.

Winn’s celebratory attitude was echoed by other speakers who reveled in the program’s recent accomplishments.

“It’s an incredible milestone for my colleagues and myself as we look at the growth of the program. We’ve come such a very long way in a very short amount of time,” Chemistry Department Head Mark Paulsen said.

Senior chemistry major Josie Mollohan, who will be one of the first students to graduate from the medicinal plant chemistry program in the bioanalytical track, took the podium and spoke at the event to honor the lab.

“The Chem 420 students here really do eat, sleep and breathe chemistry,” Mollohan said. “I was making cereal dilutions in my dreams two nights ago. Twelve hours of my week are spent at the Shimadzu lab that was just developed this summer, and most of us here have designated drawers full of our own glassware, we have a preferred hood space with an automatic sash and we have small greenhouses.”

GADGETS AND GIZMOS—Professors smile over lab instruments in the newly named Shimadzu Analytical Core Laboratory for Medicinal Plant Sciences after its dedication ceremony. The lab has been in use by chemistry students during the 2019 fall semester since its completion this summer.