2:1 matching continues for gifts to renew and replace aged equipment in the DCIF

Liz McGrath, Senior Individual Giving Officer
January 29, 2018

Pictured: A complex tangle of cables is required to keep the DCIF Inova 500 MHz NMR in operation. The room temperature probe on this system and the companion system is out for repair every few months. With Varian no longer manufacturing high-resolution NMR systems, these repairs are costlier, and more time consuming, since they are done by third-party firms. Options for operating these systems will inevitably run-out. Photo / Liz McGrath

“I was delighted to learn that by December 31, 2017, the Chemistry Department had raised over $829,000 of its $1M challenge to replace and renew instrumentation in its core Instrumentation Facility. Congratulations! I extend my personal gratitude to the many alumni and friends of the department who so generously supported the mini-campaign. To assist the department in reaching its goal, I am pleased to offer an extension of the School of Science matching for the project until June 30th.”

Michael Sipser
Dean of Science

In 2017, Department Head Professor Timothy Jamison made raising funds for instrumentation renewal and replacement in the Department of Chemistry Instrumentation Facility (DCIF) his top fundraising priority. Recognizing how important it is to provide the research programs of the department's faculty, and other researchers at the Institute and beyond, with a facility that has up-to-date and reliable instrumentation, the Dean of Science and the Institute committed to matching all donor gifts to the fund 1:1 up to $1 million until December 31, 2017. 

The Dean of Science, Michael Sipser, so pleased with the department’s efforts has extended his matching until June 30th.  The Institute has also committed to the extension. Therefore, every $1 you contribute will continue to provide $3 to this effort. Will you help us reach our goal?  Gifts of any size will be greatly appreciated!

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Judy and Lee Selwyn

Professor Jamison is most grateful to Drs. Judy and Lee Selwyn who kick-started the department's fundraising efforts with a lead gift of $100,000. Judy, who received her PhD in Chemistry in 1971 is a member of the Department of Chemistry Visiting Committee and is acutely aware of this critical need.  Other members of the committee collectively contributed $60,500, and with generous gifts from alumni and friends $829,463 (including pledges), was raised by year’s end, which is effectively $2,488,389 (including the 2:1 matching) of the $3 million needed for the project.  (Photo credit: Richard Meyer)

Gifts of $10,000 and greater will be acknowledged on a plaque displayed inside the facility. Checks made out to “The Department of Chemistry Instrumentation Fund #2612049” can be sent directly to Liz McGrath, Senior Individual Giving Officer, MIT Department of Chemistry, Bldg 18-388, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139. Gifts online may be made by clicking here.

Plaque inscriptions may include "in memory of," or "in honor of", an individual(s) if so desired.

DCIF Partner:  $100,000+
DCIF Patron:  $50,000-$99,000
DCIF Benefactor: $25,000-$49,999
DCIF Sponsor:  $10,000-$24,999

Three full-time staff DCIF members provide instrumentation training, maintenance, repair, and applications assistance to more than 500 users per year. The facility houses seven NMR spectrometers, one high resolution Fourier transform mass spectrometer, a GC-MS, a polarimeter, a MALDI-TOF mass spectrometer, a Q-TOF mass spectrometer, an EPR, and an FT-IR spectrophotometer, most of which would be prohibitively expensive for individual research groups.

Critically, all instruments located in the facility have finite useful lifetimes.  By the time an instrument is 12 to 15 years old, that instrument will be several model generations out of date and will also begin to fail with increasing frequency.  Because both the usefulness and reliability of a given instrument declines precipitously at the twilight of its operational lifetime, a constant effort is required to renew aging instrumentation. With increased instrument age comes increasing rates of failure.  Increasingly, researchers encounter the vexing problem of preparing precious samples that require immediate analysis, only to find that the analytical instrument they wish to use is down because another aged component has failed. At the present time, the facility has four major instruments dating from 1998, and one from 1999, and the average age is over 15 years!  The most recently acquired NMR (600) was purchased in 1999 before Professor Tim Jamison arrived as a junior faculty member that year.

Please contact Liz McGrath, Senior Individual Giving Officer, tel: 617 253-4080; email: emg@mit.edu for further information

THANK YOU!