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Decker Foundation’s $334,000 gift to help establish Binghamton University research lab

By Journal Staff


VESTAL —The Dr. G. Clifford & Florence B. Decker Foundation has donated $333,901 to Binghamton University to buy equipment used in biology research.

The gift allowed the university to purchase a fluorescence-activated cell sorter. This key piece of equipment, typically used in cellular biology and microbiology research, will help establish the Health Sciences Core Facility, Binghamton University said in a news release.

The facility is a multi-user laboratory open to campus researchers and their partners in health care and industry, particularly those at Lourdes and UHS Hospitals.

This will allow Binghamton University biologists and their colleagues to conduct tests and research that will improve health outcomes for patients in Southern Tier hospitals with conditions ranging from ear infections to cancer, Binghamton University contends.

“The Health Sciences Core Facility will strengthen collaborations between our faculty members and community researchers from Lourdes, UHS and elsewhere. They will be able to discuss their findings and share their expertise and data,” Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger said in the release.

One initial focus for research conducted at the Health Sciences Core Facility will be biofilms, which are implicated in 80 percent of infectious diseases, according to the university. Biofilms — communities of bacteria in self-produced slime — pose a major challenge in health care because of their “extraordinary resistance to antibiotics.”

The fluorescence-activated cell sorter allows researchers to separate a mixture or population of cells into subpopulations. The machine does not kill cells during the process, which will allow researchers to study viable subpopulations of cells, the release stated.

The Decker Foundation is one of Binghamton University’s largest lifetime donors, with gifts now totaling nearly $7.3 million, the university said.

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