E. L. Wiegand Foundation boosts research at Linfield College 

Linfield scienceState-of-the-art laboratory equipment will soon be installed at Linfield College, thanks to a grant from the E. L. Wiegand Foundation of Reno, Nevada.

The grant of $53,500 will fund equipment needed for year-round research in molecular genetics by three Linfield faculty in collaboration with undergraduates. The purchase will include a new fluorescence microscope system, microcentrifuge, thermocycler and incubator.  

 Project lead Catherine Reinke, associate professor of biology, will use the equipment to observe gene-silencing in the fruit fly by small ribonucleic acids called microRNAs.  

Sreerupa Ray, assistant professor of biology, will use the equipment for her research on DNA repair gene variants that contribute to elevated cancer risk. Megan Bestwick, assistant professor of chemistry, will also use the equipment in her investigations of the biochemical processes within the mitochondria of cells.  

Students enrolled in biochemistry and molecular biology courses will also use the equipment as part of classroom labs, as well as entering students who participate in Linfield’s STEM-focused pre-orientation program called iFOCUS. More than 120 students per year, it is anticipated, will benefit from this equipment, thanks to the generosity of the E. L. Wiegand Foundation.  

The foundation, established in 1982, honors the in the memory of Edwin L. Wiegand (1891-1980), an entrepreneur who valued scientific curiosity. Wiegand’s understanding of electricity empowered him to become a pioneer in the U.S. electrical heating industry. His namesake foundation funds programs and projects of organizations demonstrating excellence, achievement and significant impact in their fields.