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Clarke Receives Grant to Acquire NMR Spectrometer

August 11, 2014: Clarke University has received a $150,400 grant from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust to acquire a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer.

The NMR spectrometer is the leading tool in the field of characterization of molecules. It will be housed in a specially equipped laboratory in Clarke’s Center for Science Inquiry and should be ready for use in the spring. The Dubuque Bank and Trust NMR Spectroscopy Laboratory shields the surrounding area from the magnetic field and provides a vibration free environment in which to operate the instrument.

If you've ever had an MRI done on an injured knee, you've experienced the technology behind chemistry's NMR,” said Karen Glover, Clarke University assistant professor of chemistry.The NMR is different because rather than giving a picture that looks like something identifiable, like a knee for example, chemists get a printout called a spectrum. The spectrum consists of lots of lines on an axis. Based on the pattern of lines and their position, a chemist can decide on what the molecule might look like. Students learn how to interpret these patterns in organic chemistry.  With the new instrument we are planning on running some experiments that students in the first year of studies can do. 

The NMR spectrometer will be used to enhance the university’s chemistry curricula to better meet the need for a job-ready and nationally competitive STEM workforce. This instrument is central to hands-on, experiential learning and is widely used in multiple science disciplines. Faculty will integrate laboratory activities in chemistry courses from freshman to senior year helping the university to better prepare students, especially those in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, food science and pre-professional health sciences.

The project will impact at least 11 chemistry courses, as well as a growing undergraduate research program, and a summer camp for high school students interested science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers.

For more information, contact the Clarke University Marketing and Communication Office at (563)588-6318.

Clarke University is a Catholic, liberal arts and sciences university dedicated to preparing students who positively impact their workplace, family and community. Academic offerings include more than 40 undergraduate liberal arts and pre-professional programs, a robust adult degree program and six graduate degree programs.  Founded in 1843 by the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Clarke is located near the Mississippi River in the thriving city of Dubuque, Iowa. It is the only BVM university in the country.

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