Central Washington University Foundation Programs
Here’s the Central Washington University’s (CWU) challenge for you. The Challenge: The M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust (a Trust created by the will of the late Melvin J. (Jack) Murdock, co-founder of Tektronix, Inc.) has made a conditional grant award to CWU to acquire a flow cytometer. The condition is that CWU raise $89,000 to match the Trust’s investment
. CWU has until July 2014 to meet this challenge.
This is a remarkable time for students at CWU, and the acquisition of the flow cytometer will advance teaching, research, and learning by
- Increasing student’s competitive edge in the job market after graduation.
- Increasing CWU’s ability to serve as a regional resource for research and analysis by scientists, doctors and students at Kittitas Valley Community Hospital, Heritage University Medical Technology program and Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, and area veterinary clinics.
- Strengthening curriculum offered in undergraduate classes.
- Strengthening research into molecular and cellular immunology, especially the immune response to several species of Kinetoplastids, including Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas disease), Trypanosoma brucei spp. (sleeping sickness), and several Leishmania spp. Advance research in human cutaneous leishmaniasis, HIV co-infection, cellular immune responses to hookworm infection.
- Allow for detection, analysis and quantification of microorganisms (bacteria, stem cells, neurons and leukemia cells) with limited life spans that die before reaching analytical equipment in Seattle or the Tri-Cities.
- Improving the quality of student and faculty research publications and increasing their competitiveness for external grants.
Thank you for taking the flow cytometer challenge!
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
A little known fact is most of CWU students list their primary residence (over 70%) in the Puget Sound area, and after graduation they return to work and contribute to the area economy. Notable CWU alums include Ron Sims (former King County Executive), Christine Day (CEO lululemon), and Ray Conner (executive vice president of The Boeing Company and president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes). CWU is the institution of choice for over 10,000 students each year where we take great pride in hearing over and over from our student body “My Professor Knows My Name”.
Flow cytometry is the accepted “gold standard” technique in the field of immunology and the standard equipment for any research setting where immunological questions are being explored. Yet, CWU students, faculty members, and area researchers do not have access to flow cytometry equipment. Currently, faculty and students travel to Seattle (220 miles, roundtrip) or the Tri-Cities (240 miles, roundtrip) to perform analysis. In addition to mileage and travel time, costs for rental use of flow cytometry equipment range from $70 to $160 per hour. While this provides for a stop gap measure, it is not a sustainable solution. Upon graduation, students seek work in the sciences, yet they are not qualified to apply because job descriptions require experience in using a flow cytometer. Faculty led/student assisted research will not be current without an onsite flow cytometer.
A very limited number of students, faculty, and regional community members have benefit of the remote research performed and data acquired from current use of the rented, off-site flow cytometers – likely less than five people. The number of people reached upon arrival of the flow cytometer at CWU-Ellensburg will explode - - initially reaching over 150 people. The impact of your contribution to this challenge and the result of your investment is significant.