The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NE has microbiology lab in works

By Rhiannon Saegert/managing editor

Soon, microbiology majors on NE Campus will have their own lab.

“We will be expanding our capacity by 50 percent,” biology professor Marius Pfeiffer said. “We’ll double our theoretical capacity for microbiology.”

The lab, which instructors hope will open this spring, will include incubators, large-capacity refrigerators, sequencing machines for bacteria and microscopes capable of taking photos.

“The microscopes are a big part,” Pfeiffer said. “That is a big advantage. They [students] really like taking pictures.”

The cameras will be a step up from the phones students usually use to take photos of their experiments to study them at home, Pfeiffer said.

Biology associate professor Lara Kingeter said the new space and equipment will give instructors and students more freedom.

“We’ll be able to introduce new techniques and new experiments,” Kingeter said. “It’ll strengthen our classes here — both majors and health sciences-focused classes. It’s going to be a great facility.”

Kingeter said more medical and nursing schools now require a microbiology credit, and the new lab will help meet the growing demand.

“This is a chain reaction,” associate professor of biology William Matthai said. “What it’ll do is give us more open space for open lab time. That’ll be helpful.”

Matthai said the labs are scheduled so closely together that students have little time to ask their instructors questions. He said instructors have a hard time preparing for the next lab. 

“Right now, we’ve got back-to-back labs,” he said. “That’s really a hassle. We have no time to sit and talk to students because another lab is coming racing in right after. Having a second lab will allow us to spread out.”

Between majors and non-majors microbiology classes, Matthai said, there is very little room or time for students to use the labs on their own outside of class.

“We can also have student assistants who clean up between labs come in and prep for the next lab,” he said. “Right now, we have virtually no time to do that. It’s very hard.”

Matthai said he hopes the new lab will be a showcase for microbiology experiments on NE, with ongoing experiments on display.

“Right now, microbiology majors don’t have a home,” he said. “They’re sort of stuck in with the non-majors. With their own lab, they’re going to be able to do some really great, unique stuff.” 

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