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Biology Professor Brings in NIH INBRE Equipment Grant

Jenn Dearholf researchDr. Jenn DearolfCONWAY, Ark. (February 27, 2012) - Hendrix College biology professor Dr. Jenn Dearolf recently received a $25,000 Competitive Equipment Award from the Arkansas Idea Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) program.    

Funded by the National Institutes of Health, INBRE encourages scientific research in under-funded areas of the country.

The grant will be used at Hendrix to purchase two pieces of scientific research equipment, a microplate reader and an ultracold freezer.

The microplate reader will be used by students in Dr. Mark Sutherland's immunology course and biochemistry courses taught by Dr. Andres Caro and Dr. Randy Kopper.

In addition, undergraduate researchers in Dr. Varsha Kaushal's lab will be using the reader to study prostate cancer.  

Students in Dr. Kopper's lab will use the reader to study snake venom, and students in Dr. Dearolf's lab will use the reader to measure oxidative enzyme activity in fetal guinea pig muscles exposed to prenatal steroids.  

The freezer will provide important storage space for materials needed by undergraduate researchers in the labs of Drs. Kaushal, George Harper, Andrew Schurko, and Ann Willyard. It will also provide overflow storage for researchers in Dr. Dearolf's lab, as well as students working in the labs of Drs. Andrea Duina and Rick Murray.  

"Both of these pieces of equipment will enhance the research and teaching capabilities of the Biology and Chemistry Departments," Dr. Dearolf said. "Because the microplate reader will be used by students in our Immunology and Biochemistry courses, in addition to the students working in research labs, this piece of equipment will serve more than 100 students each academic year.

"The freezer will increase the research productivity in a number of labs, which may open up more opportunities for students to perform research projects in the Biology Department," she added.

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education. Hendrix was named the country's #1 "Up and Coming" liberal arts college for the third consecutive year by U.S. News and World Report. Hendrix is featured in the 2011 edition of the Princeton Review as one of the country's best 376 colleges and is listed in the 2012 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges as one of 25 "Best Buy" private colleges included. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit