History of the CNRS Core Research Facility

The College of Natural Resources and Sciences Core Research Facility (CNRS Core) has its roots in the Biology Department’s Stockroom. Prior to 1998, Science B, Room 230 was a traditional closed door stockroom/storeroom facility housing numerous instrumental scientific antiques, thousands of chemicals, and interesting glassware. In 1998 a new Stockroom manager was hired, Anthony Baker, who envisioned the need for a centralized Core facility that houses specialized instrumentation and equipment for student training and research purposes. Thus, the transformation towards the BioCore Facility began.

The stockroom’s original configuration in 1998 contained a large bench space, a chemical fume hood, and a technician available to assist with questions and training for undergraduate and graduate student research projects. At the time most of the projects consisted of field work with some laboratory needs such as staining, chemical cleaning, and microscopy. In 1998 the Biology department, in coordination with Dr. William Allen, acquired a LiCor CAN sequencer supporting the transition of the Biology Stockroom to the BioCore Facility and ultimately its current format as the CNRS Core Research Facility. Access changed from a closed stockroom to a semi-open facility available for training of students in biological experimental methods. In addition to student training the BioCore Facility provided assistance with graduate student and faculty research projects. The Stockroom continued to acquire equipment and instrumentation needed to perform DNA/Genetic analysis. By 2006 the Stockroom Facility was fully open to the CNRS departments.

Before 2008 minor modifications had been made to the Biology Stockroom in order to facilitate it’s increasing function. In 2008 the Biology Stockroom was remodeled to provide a safer working environment and to improve the efficiency of the space. As part of the remodel, non-essential supplies and cabinetry were removed from the room, however the Stockroom and the newly created Biology Core Facility/Biotechnology Core Facility (BioCore) remained operating out of the same physical space in Science B, Room 230. Over the next seven years the functionality of the Biology Core Facility increased through the acquisition of new instrumentation and equipment, for example: ABI 7300 qPCR instrument, Shimadzu TOC/N analyzer, Perkin Elmer Atomic Absorption Spectrometer 400, BioRad 26 lane Acrylamide gel apparatus, Beckman DU 640 Spectrophotometer, Molecular Devices SpectraMax i3 and SpectraMax L Plate reader. The capability to improve quality student training increased with the incorporation of new equipment and instrumentation.

In January of 2015, under the direction of the CNRS Dean, the focus of the BioCore was officially expanded to include all of the Departments within the College of Natural Resources and Sciences. Still located in Science B, Room 230, the name was changed to CNRS Core Research Facility (CNRS Core, the Core) to reflect the expanded access and functionality across the College and David Baston was hired to provide new guidance. A remodel of Science B, Room 230 in 2015 was accomplished to separate functions of the Biology Stockroom, Science B, Room 230, Door 2) and the CNRS Core providing a safer working environment.

In 2022, Liz Faidley was hired as the new Core Director. She brings experience in fields of histology, immunohistochemistry, cell culture, nucleic acid preparations and assays, protein extractions and Western blotting.  She is well versed in feasibility discussions and enjoys talking with staff, students and faculty about new research ideas and the various methods that can be applied to answer research questions using existing core equipment, capabilities and collaborations.

The Biology Stockroom (Science B, Room 230, Door 2) is managed by Susan Wright (x3232, susan.wright@humboldt.edu) providing excellent support services to Biology students; i.e. laboratory equipment, chemicals, and supplies for classes and projects. It also offers support with building and room issues, classroom and office computer and projector equipment, assistance with grant funded purchases, and a central hazardous waste disposal location for the biology department.