Moving On Up
The students in the lab of Vicki Colvin, Kenneth S. Pitzer–Schlumberger Professor of Chemistry and professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, are used to pioneering nanoscale research, but in July, they were pioneers of a different sort when they became the first tenants of Rice’s BioScience Research Collaborative.
After spending a week packing up their old lab and a week unpacking in their new one, the researchers were ready to take full advantage of what the new space offered, including innovative workbenches, new equipment and prime office space. They also were looking forward to something the BRC offers outside of the lab: the student hub.
“It has a great view of campus, but it will also be a really great space where we get to know other undergrads, graduate students and postdocs working in the BRC,” said Hema Puppala, a graduate student researcher in the Colvin group. “It will be a place where we can talk about what we’re working on and hear about what others are doing and maybe find ways to work together.”
The BRC also has become home to a host of Rice chemists, biochemists, bioengineers, biomedical engineers, cell biologists, and electrical and computer engineers. Other Rice groups and offices are scheduled to make the move by the end of January, including the rest of the Department of Bioengineering, the Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering, Beyond Traditional Borders, Rice 360°: Institute for Global Health Technologies, the Texas-United Kingdom Collaborative Research Initiative, and the Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology.
“It will be fun once we get everyone in here,” said Arjun Prakash, a graduate student researcher in Colvin’s group. “The facilities are definitely nice, and proximity to other researchers in the building and within the Texas Medical Center makes collaboration more possible.”