The Baker Company is delighted to have gifted a new SterilGARD® e3 Class II Biosafety Cabinet to the College of Science, Technology and Health at University of Southern Maine (USM) to help students working towards careers in life sciences or biomedical research.
USM Assistant Professor Catherine Miller is a microbiologist whose research focuses on the mosquito and tick vectors that transmit bacterial and viral pathogens to humans, particularly in rural vs. urban areas of southern Maine. Biosafety cabinets are essential for her to carry out her research and allow her students to safely grow and process human tissue cells.
“The biosafety cabinet is an excellent piece of equipment and vital to ongoing research,” explains Dr. Miller. “It allows the users to do molecular ‘hands-on viral stuff’ in a sterile environment that’s necessary for this work. We can collect mosquitoes in a secure environment and isolate the non-infectious part of the insect, in order to test and identify what virus they may be carrying.”
Knowing how to safely and effectively use a biosafety cabinet is a vital skill for students looking to further their careers in biology and/or medical fields. Baker is proud to be able to gift this vital piece of equipment to the lab to allow students to gain the necessary skills to progress along their chosen career path. “It is great experience to put on their resumes.” adds Dr. Miller, “Understanding and knowing how to use this equipment, with proper aseptic technique, is a skill that can open doors for our students as they pursue future science careers.”
Photo caption: Matthew Oberholtzer (L), a USM graduate student currently enrolled in a master's degree program in Biology and Dr. Catherine "Cat" Miller (R), Assistant Professor of Biology.