College to dedicate new biotechnology facility Sept. 15

Penn State Harrisburg will dedicate its new $1.6 million biofuels research and teaching laboratory and greenhouse, Thursday, Sept. 15 at 2:30 p.m. The lab is located on the west side of campus, off of University Avenue.

“The Central Pennsylvania Research and Teaching Laboratory for Biofuels is the only one of its kind, either commercial or educational, in this region. The lab and greenhouse provide a state-of-the-art facility for research and teaching, and will serve as a center for the important study of alternative energy sources,” said Penn State Harrisburg Chancellor Mukund Kulkarni.  “Creation of the facility, a valuable resource now in Central Pennsylvania, was made possible through a partnership between the business sector, state government, and higher education,” he said.

About the facility:

Purpose –

  • provides biotechnology laboratory equipment and greenhouse space for science and engineering classes, and student and faculty research at Penn State Harrisburg;
  • provides a facility that accommodates research and teaching partnerships with higher education institutions, schools, and other organizations;
  • serves as Central Pennsylvania’s only center for the study of second and third generation biofuels, with a goal of bringing environmentally friendly energy alternatives to the marketplace 

Laboratory –

  • 3,000 square feet;
  • equipped to perform plant tissue culture, genetic engineering of plants, molecular biology, genomics and proteomics research

Greenhouse –

  • 1500 square feet;
  • climate controlled 24/7 for temperature, light and humidity;
  • certified by the National Institutes of Health and the USDA as a Level 2 facility, meaning it is approved for growing genetically altered plants

Government agency, industry, and individual support from:

  • Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Alternative and Clean Energy Program
  • Kiran and Anandi Patel
  • Ernst Conservation Seeds, Inc.
  • Keystone Biofuels, Inc., Ben Wootton, President
  • Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Translational Research in Energy Support Program (TRESP)
  • UGI Utilities
  • Ramesh and Chandrika Patel
  • Whitaker Foundation Regional Math and Science Program, The Foundation for Enhancing Communities
  • National Science Foundation, Research Experience for Undergraduates