MELBOURNE, FLA. — Dr. Michael Grace, Florida Tech associate professor of biological sciences, has earned a grant of almost $370,000 from the
National Science Foundation’s Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program. The grant will allow purchase of a new confocal microscope, which will
augment the university’s growing High Resolution Microscopy and Advanced Imaging Center. Grace is center director.
“Confocal microscopy is a very important tool in life sciences and materials research,” said Grace. “It gives us high-resolution microscopic images
that would otherwise be impossible to obtain.” Confocal microscopy involves scanning a focused laser beam across the sample to eliminate out-of-focus
Grace will use the new microscope for his studies on the neurobiology of vision in marine fish and sea turtles.
He won another MRI grant in 2004, which funded the purchase of a state-of-the-art JEOL scanning electron microscope, a high-resolution digital
electron microscope camera and a variety of support instruments.
The MRI program is designed to increase access to scientific and engineering equipment for research and research training. The program assists
institutions in acquiring or developing major research instrumentation that is too costly to be funded through other NSF programs.