Bayer donates $1 million in used equipment to Sac State

Lauren Greenwood

Faculty and students in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at Sacramento State this spring will be using $1 million worth of donated research equipment from Bayer, an international pharmaceutical research company.

Bayer is expanding in Berkeley and moving to Sacramento and will no longer use its Richmond facility. As a result, the company auctioned off all of the Richmond facility’s equipment.

Bayer in August approached Thomas Peavy, a professor of biological sciences who has a prior connection with Bayer, to see if Sac State wanted any of the equipment.

“We jumped at the chance. Some of the professors and I organized trips to Richmond with vans, trucks and U-Haul trailers to pick out what we wanted. It was a big grassroots effort,” Peavy said.

Peavy said he went with other professors five times over the semester to pick up equipment.

“We had our pick of everything that was in there. We sifted and sorted until we found exactly what we wanted,” Peavy said.

Peavy said the team of professors acquired incubators, culture hoods, microscopes and a liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry machine, which was a big item for the college and has an estimated value of $780,000. The machine will help with protein analyses and protein-related research. Peavy said the college was also excited about receiving a clinical centrifuge and a microscope valued at $30,000.

In addition to the big equipment, the college also received research material resources like tubes, micro-pipette tips and slides.

Jill Trainer, dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, said the equipment may be used by undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and classes for research.

Trainer said the majority of the equipment will be stored and used in the Center for Interdisciplinary Molecular Biology: Education, Research and Advancement, which works closely with the biology and chemistry department.

Farzeh Afshari-Nejad-Mojhadam, the CIMERA lab manager and graduate student in the College of Natural Sciences, took inventory of all of the supplies from Bayer and said it took a while to account for everything.

“We are very appreciative of Bayer’s generous contribution to the school,” Mojhadam said. “We are actually in need of supplies and this came at a perfect time.”

Mojhadam said the supplies will be used at all levels of research and he is especially excited to see how this will benefit the stem cell research that Sac State students and faculty are conducting.

Peavy cultivated a relationship with Bayer in spring 2009 when he asked representatives from the company to speak to his seminar class about science career options.

Peavy said Bayer sent the director of manufacturing and the director of research to speak to the class and after the presentation, Peavy mentioned that Sac State would love to use any of Bayer’s unneeded equipment.

“We’ve enjoyed a fruitful relationship with Bayer and hope to continue this relationship in the future,” Peavy said.

Lauren Greenwood can be reached at [email protected]