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Central Connections Magazine

Flow Cytometer Boosts Learning and Research

Grant to Enhance the Flow

Science students at CWU will gain more advanced research skills in cell and molecular biology, thanks to the acquisition of a new, state-of-the-art flow cytometer.

Flow cytometry (FCM) is a technology that simultaneously measures and analyzes multiple physical characteristics of single particles, usually cells, as they pass through a beam of light. FCM has applications in a diverse range of fields, including immunology, molecular biology, plant biology and marine biology. Its applications in medicine are vital to pathology, organ transplantation, tumor immunology and chemotherapy. CWU is one of only a handful of four-year colleges in the nation introducing FCM into their undergraduate curriculum.

CWU was not only able to purchase the equipment, but also develop new and updated biological sciences curriculum using flow cytometry and enhance undergraduate research.

"It will be of great benefit to our students, the university, and the central Washington as a whole," said Blaise Dondji, CWU biological sciences professor and FCM program director. "It will transform the cell biology curriculum at Central and give our students crucial research skills and increase their competitiveness for graduate schools and jobs."

The cytometer was made possible by a collaborative partnership between Blaise, his faculty colleagues and University Advancement. The FCM program was created with $350,000 in grants from the W.M. Keck Foundation, the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, and the Seattle Foundation.

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