June 30, 2015
Communications and Marketing
Thanks to the generosity of Dr. Joseph V. St. Clair DVM '59 and his wife, Jean, biology students now have immediate access to a quantitative DNA machine at Saint Anselm. This new addition modernizes the cell biology lab and ensures that students gain valuable laboratory skills.
Dr. St. Clair's major reunion-year gift of almost $60,000 funded the re-establishment and equipping of the mammalian cell tissue laboratory in Goulet Science Center with a quantitative PCR (qPCR) machine, two laminar floor hoods, and additional basics required for cell culture.
"We like what this college stands for," says Dr. St. Clair. "For years we've wanted to make a major gift. We decided that we're fortunate enough to give and feel as though it is a nice way to show our appreciation."
The qPCR machine allows students to learn exactly how much DNA they have at every step. For example, they can amplify samples from both healthy and diseased sources and directly compare them, potentially identifying a gene as the cause of a disease.
The St. Clairs were ecstatic to see the machine in action, as current students conducting cancer research this summer utilize it. "We asked what the biology department needed and it's a great thing to upgrade the lab," says St. Clair.
"Experience with this type of equipment is what employers are asking for," says biology professor and chair Brian Penney. "These skills lead directly to jobs. The biology department is so grateful for the St. Clairs for providing this opportunity."
St. Clair, a veterinarian and member of the class of 1959 isn't the only Anselmian and doctor in his family. His sons Dr. James N. St. Clair '96 and Dr. J. Peter St. Clair DMD '91 also graduated from the Hilltop. James practices with his father at their animal hospital in Meriden, Conn., while Peter is a dentist in Rowley, Mass.
Photos by Cory True '09