Life Sciences Research Facility
Research in Biomedical and Biological Sciences
The Life Science Research Facility, which opened in 2003, is used by the Heritage College’s Department of Biomedical Sciences and the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biological Sciences. In addition to faculty and graduate student offices, the building houses a diversity of research laboratories.
A comparative biomechanics lab, for example, lets scientists study walking, running, chewing and feeding in alpacas, dogs and other small to mid-sized mammals. Equipment includes a motion analysis system, an instrumented treadmill with force plates for recording ground reaction forces while animals walk or run, and a respirometry unit that measures oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide release.
Researchers studying the functional morphology of vertebrates such as dinosaurs have access to a storage room for holding anatomical specimens, wet labs, an anatomical preparation area and much more. Technologies in this suite range from high-performance computer workstations equipped for 3D visualization to digital photomicrography. A fossil preparation lab also allows scientists to ready specimens for research, a process that involves removing fossils from surrounding rock and preparing them for various imaging techniques, including 3D imaging, microscopic imaging and the assembly of photographic plates for publication.
The building accommodates researchers in several other research areas as well. It offers a histology lab for studying soft and hard tissues, microscopy and cell imaging facilities, and labs that have been safeguarded and approved for work with infectious microorganisms.