The College of Science and Mathematics at Augusta University celebrated the completion of the fourth floor and the interdisciplinary research labs with a ribbon-cutting on Sept. 21.
The new research labs are open to researchers across the university in order to foster collaboration between the various disciplines present at Augusta University, keeping in line with the move of the college to the Health Sciences Campus to facilitate more interdisciplinary research.
The creation of these laboratories are in line with the vision that Rickey Hicks, PhD, the founding dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, had when he first proposed moving the college. In his address, AU President Brooks A. Keel, PhD, recalled Hicks’s vision.
“As we celebrate the opening of this remarkable space, I’m reminded of the forward-looking leadership of the late Dr. Rickey Hicks, whose vision for a collaborative research space on the Health Sciences campus has now become a reality,” Keel said.
“This million-dollar project is a testament to the dedication and commitment of our entire university community. It’s a place where innovation will thrive, where students are learning and where groundbreaking discovery should be made.”
The floor is connected to the Interdisciplinary Research Center by a skybridge, practically and symbolically representing the connections between multiple disciplines.
The floor has many different types of spaces and equipment for research, including four wet labs for areas such as molecular biology, biochemistry and neuroscience. There are also labs dedicated to mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance, as well as a computational research space with numerous desktop stations available.
David C. Hess, MD, dean of the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, affirmed the possibility of collaborative research that the new laboratories on the Health Sciences Campus offers. Hess emphasized the importance of the new space for the Transdisciplinary Research Initiative in Inflammaging and Brain Aging (TRIBA) researchers at AU as well.
“You put a good researcher anywhere and they’re productive, but this is a really beautiful space,” Hess said.
“This million-dollar project is a testament to the dedication and commitment of our entire university community. It’s a place where innovation will thrive, where students are learning and where groundbreaking discovery should be made.“President Brooks A. Keel, PhD
John Sutherland, PhD, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, reiterated the importance of moving the college and creating the fourth floor, emphasizing that building out the fourth floor was an involved process for several groups across the university.
“Its completion required a separate construction project. Today we are celebrating the ‘almost’ completion of that construction project,” Sutherland said. “It is a great pleasure to share that experience with all of you today.”
Ben Levine, a second-year biomolecular sciences graduate student who does research on the fourth floor, spoke eagerly about the opportunities that the labs provide for students at the university, especially since his own lab is so close to the classes he teaches.
“This floor has really been helpful for me as because I teach in the first floor of this building, so I can go straight from my lab down to teaching and then right back up. I think some of the other graduate students that are working up here can agree with that as well.”
Levine also noted the benefit of the labs allowing graduates and undergraduates to work in the same space together.
“It’s also been a great opportunity for any student in our lab to have such an open space,” Levine said. “It really allows them to come up and work with us.”