Pfizer donates laboratory equipment for Tabor

Professors Josh McLoud and Norman Schmidt stand in front of science equipmentThe Tabor College Science Department recently received a gift of laboratory equipment from Pfizer, the global pharmaceutical giant that operates a manufacturing plant in nearby McPherson.

Josh McLoud, assistant professor of Biology, said he had been coordinating with Pfizer over the summer.

“They wanted to know if we had equipment needs and I told them, sure,” McLoud said. “We could definitely use some of the equipment, such as more glassware. Not only were they able to give us quite a bit of glassware (29 Erlenmeyer flasks), they also gave us a large volume water bath, a heating plate, and culture tubes.”

McLoud said the additional equipment will come in handy when students begin class projects regarding water samples for Ecology.

“This will be excellent equipment to use for student projects, as well as microbiology class to sterilize media,” McLoud added.  “They gave us some culture tubes and some syringe filters that filter out various things. When making antibiotic stock solutions, for culture media, the water has debris and possible bacteria in it and you use the filters to sterilize the liquid, because excessive heat destroys the antibiotic.”

In addition to the glassware, Pfizer donated a water bath for the laboratory.

“The water bath is really nice,” McLoud said. “When he told me about it, I said we’d love to have that here. I used a very similar water bath like this for my dissertation to extract DNA out of 2.5 years of air samples. For each sample, I extracted the DNA using a water bath similar to this one. This will increase the number of DNA extractions that we may perform at once, thereby accelerating the progress in undergraduate research projects here at Tabor.

“I thought it was really nice of them to reach out like that and contact the Christian colleges,” he added. “I’m excited about it.”