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SU professors land grants

By Staff | Dec 9, 2011


Two Shepherd University professors received instrumentation grants totaling nearly $40,000 from the Division of Science and Research of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.

Dan DiLella, professor and chair of the department of chemistry, received an $18,234 grant for the upgrade of high performance liquid chromatography and electrochemical capabilities, and Carol Plautz, assistant professor of biology, received a $19,755 grant for a multimode microplate reader.

The purpose of the instrumentation grants program is to encourage undergraduate students to continue in careers in science, math and engineering by allowing the purchase of modern instruments for laboratories and encouraging submission to National Science Foundation research.

DiLella and his co-contributors, Ruth Conley, associate professor of biology, and Peter Vila, assistant professor of environmental and physical sciences, submitted a request for a detector that can be interfaced to a high performance liquid chromatography system to add new capabilities to the instrument to test and detect very low levels of pharmaceuticals and environmental pollutants.

DiLella said that the new detector will impact students’ coursework and serve as a supplement for ongoing and new projects in upper-level chemistry and biology courses that cannot be done without the instrument upgrade.


The multimode microplate reader will allow students and faculty the ability to detect and quantify samples in a multi-well plate and detect fluorescent intensity and determine absorbance of samples across a spectral range.

Plautz said the equipment will allow students to detect quantities in their research and also will be used in biology labs.

Co-contributors on the grant include Adam Parks, assistant professor of biology; David Wing, assistant professor of biology; and Burt Lidgerding, associate professor of biology.