WMU News

Pfizer gives WMU $2.9 million in research equipment

March 31, 2004

KALAMAZOO--More than $2.9 million in scientific equipment has been donated by Pfizer Inc. to Western Michigan University to support WMU research and boost Kalamazoo's life sciences initiatives.

"Pfizer is proud to further its relationship with Western Michigan University through this donation of laboratory equipment," said Robert T. McDonough, Pfizer's community relations manager in Kalamazoo County. "In recent months, Pfizer has donated $10 million worth of surplus lab items nationwide to schools like Western that share our commitment to education and science. We hope this gift will benefit students, researchers and society at large."

The Pfizer equipment donation follows an unrestricted cash commitment of $1 million Pfizer made to WMU in December during the final month of the University's centennial capital campaign.

Donated equipment will be used for such research tasks as DNA sequencing, peptide synthesis, protein sequencing and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance-NMR-spectroscopy. Medicinal chemistry equipment donated includes a mass spectrometer for measurement of molecular size and quality; robotic platforms for toxicology studies and handling large quantities of liquid samples; a gene chip machine for examination of gene expression and the impact of environmental substances; and a number of fluorescent microscopes.

"This generous gift from Pfizer will enhance University research and boost the capabilities of both our Biosciences Research and Commercialization Center and promising startup companies in Kalamazoo," said WMU President Judith I. Bailey of the equipment gift. "We have already chosen to make some the Pfizer equipment available to three life sciences startup firms. Both the University and the community's economic development initiatives will reap the benefits as these sophisticated tools are used to build Kalamazoo's reputation as a life sciences commercialization center."

The laboratory equipment from Pfizer has already been incorporated into labs in WMU's Haenicke Hall, where it is used for research in biological sciences and chemistry. It also is being used in the labs of some Kalamazoo area life sciences startup firms.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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